People & Politics
Science in a world of rules, regulations, and war
Two men committed murder—and blamed the English naturalist. The aftermath solidified Darwin as the greatest scientist of his age.
Americans happily ate monosodium glutamate for decades, but one (fake?) letter sparked mass hysteria and the bogus MSG scare was born.
Scientists have confirmed five basic human tastes. But is that all? Debate rages about adding other tastes to the Big Five.
James Mellaart discovered one of the most important archaeological sites ever. But his lust for treasure led him to lose it all.
How paranoia doomed a nuclear patent lawyer.
Sam Kean examines the dark, restless side of the father of the atomic bomb.
Explore scientist John Calhoun’s mouse utopia and what it can tell us about the ways we impose lessons for society onto lab experiments.
Sam Kean explores how the legendary gardener’s reputation as the patron saint of the American wilderness ignores his boozy origins.
Trace how such a sweet treat has caused so much harm—from slavery to the Nazi death machine.
The story behind notorious surgeon Walter Freeman’s contempt for his father, failures with his sons, and obsession with lobotomies.
The third episode in a three-part series on legendary physicists and their dumbest mistakes.
Learn about the physicist’s biggest-blunder-turned-greatest success.
Learn how an obsession with crustaceans guided the naturalist toward his most consequential insights.
When American women bought Marie Curie a vital gram of the element.
An interview with author Sam Kean.