At the borders between chaos and order are seeds for new insights into information, war, physiology, and physics. Structure is not just visible—it’s created, transformed, and destroyed.
Traffic Wouldn’t Jam If Drivers Behaved Like Ants
Ant colony optimization has itself migrated with impressive speed and range, and has been taken up residence in all kinds of research pursuits, from estimating electricity consumption in Turkey to designing supply chains to the design of tall bridge piers to robot learning.Photograph by Bernardinus Nugraha / Flickr As someone so flummoxed by traffic I […]
What Pushes a Person to Suicide?
In a 2005 review, titled “Dissecting the suicide phenotype: The role of impulsive-aggressive behaviours,” Gustavo Turecki, an expert on suicide at McGill University, argues that impulsivity is a crucial aspect of suicide.Photograph by Andrew Toskin / Flickr One May day five years ago, an ambulance arrived for me. My eyes were twitching, hands shaking, thoughts […]
Why Synthetic Protein Research Needs More Funding
The ability to create and explore such synthetic proteins with atomic level accuracy has the potential to unlock new areas of basic research and to create practical applications in a wide range of fields.Image by G. Indelicato, P. Burkhard, R. Twarock / Royal Society Open Science Proteins are the workhorses of all living creatures, fulfilling […]
Ingenious: Dalton Conley
The Princeton sociologist explains why race is not a scientific category.
The Inflated Debate Over Cosmic Inflation
Why the majority of physicists are on one side of a recent exchange of letters.
What Both the Left and Right Get Wrong About Race
Setting the scientific record straight on race, IQ, and success.
How a Kids’ Cartoon Created a Real-Life Invasive Army
Once upon a time, raccoons were strangers to the island of Japan, save for the occasional critter kept in a zoo. That all changed when Araiguma Rasukaru aired and turned a nation onto raccoons’ inherent charm. Tales of monsters invading Japan are a longstanding tradition, usually involving menacing kaiju—literally “strange creatures”—rising from the sea to […]
Why Trump Would Enjoy Being a Consciousness Researcher
Sure, Donald Trump usually isn’t one for heady or complex matters. His business roles—promoting steaks, golf courses, and casinos—haven’t been particularly rigorous, in an intellectual sense. The closest he came was with Trump University (although, among other problems, its use of the word “university” to describe its operations violated New York State law.) Studying […]
The Oldest Problem in American Prisons
U.S. prisons aren’t prepared for an inmate population that is getting older and sicker.