by Harvey C. Mansfield
Natural science, with its standards of experimental rigor, has come to dominate the university, leaving many non-scientific scholars confused about the place of the humanities or social sciences in the academy. But, as Harvey C. Mansfield argues, science remains dependent on non-science, and philosophy remains the cornerstone of any serious education.
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.
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 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 Robert H. Nelson
Economists often try to present their discipline as truly scientific — a value-neutral tool for predicting policy outcomes. But looking to history, Robert H. Nelson shows that economic science cannot be separated from its moral and even religious presuppositions.
by Jonathan H. Adler
Environmentalists often dismiss conservatives as obstructionists who are only interested in stopping the government from regulating industry. Jonathan H. Adler corrects this common misinterpretation of the history of American environmental policy.
by Raymond Tallis
In his new book Mind and Cosmos, philosopher Thomas Nagel argues that the existence of life, mind, and objective value raises serious problems for mainstream science. Raymond Tallis reviews Nagel’s new book and discusses the limits of scientific materialism.
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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.
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.