by Lewis M. Andrews
Alcoholics Anonymous, like much of mental health care in America, can trace its origins to the teachings of Christian academic leaders who encouraged their students to lead virtuous, spiritually fulfilling lives. Lewis M. Andrews brings this often forgotten history to light.
How has President Obama’s inaugural promise to “restore science to its rightful place” fared? The president’s record on issues from energy to bioethics to R&D budgeting shows a failure to put science above politics. But is it ever possible for such policy debates to escape politics?
by William B. Hurlbut
The new Pope chose to name himself after Francis of Assisi, “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.” As William B. Hurlbut explains, the humility of St. Francis stands in stark contrast to the hubristic aims of modern science, and his understanding of suffering and redemption offers a needed corrective to our appetite for biotechnological perfection.
by Algis Valiunas
Marie Curie, a co-discoverer of radiation, is famous in no small part for being a woman in a field dominated by men. But this kind of feminist fame shortchanges her remarkable accomplishments as a great experimental scientist. Algis Valiunas brings us the real Marie Curie: her life and loves, her science and scandals.
by Rand Simberg
Private individuals and companies hope someday to develop and even settle outer space — but what legal protections do they have? Rand Simberg looks at the space treaties now on the books and examines a proposal to recognize claims staked on the Moon, Mars, or asteroids.
by Austin L. Hughes
In recent years, many scientists, pop-science writers, and philosophers have espoused the view that science provides the only valid path to knowledge. Evolutionary biologist Austin L. Hughes reveals the profound failures of this “scientism” and the persistent need for philosophy to guide the scientific quest.
by Aaron Rothstein
A growing number of advocates and psychologists argue that we should celebrate mental differences — from ADHD to autism — under the rubric of neurodiversity. Aaron Rothstein explores this idea and its consequences for how we think about the mind.
by James Bowman
On Breaking Bad, terminally ill high school chemistry teacher Walter White transforms himself into a drug kingpin. James Bowman argues that the hit show is a tale of an Enlightenment figure thrust into a world of pre-Enlightenment values by his confrontation with mortality.
by Jeremy Rozansky
In his 2012 book Uncontrolled, Jim Manzi recommends that policymakers conduct more experiments and rely less on too-simple econometric models. Manzi’s approach will not give us perfect policies — but, argues Jeremy Rozansky, it will better fit the American cast of mind and better suit our democratic politics.
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by Caitrin Nicol
Medical emergencies can be scary enough, but imagine if all your doctors spoke a different language and held radically different beliefs. One of the most influential works in the field of cross-cultural medicine, Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, just marked its fifteenth anniversary. Caitrin Nicol reviews the new edition of this classic book. READ MORE
Image: Drawing of Lia Lee, the book’s subject. She passed away in 2012.
by Lauren Weiner
The late Ray Bradbury is remembered for his imaginative science fiction, like the dystopian Fahrenheit 451 and his tales of man’s future in space. Lauren Weiner guides us through the sunny Americanism and haunting shadows of Bradbury’s writing.