The Smithsonian Institution, since its earliest days, has focused on one technique for learning about science, art, history, music and a wide range of other fields: asking questions. When James Smithson left his fortune to the U.S. government to create a at Washington an institution for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” he had this ideal in mind—the use of the scientific method to find out information and the importance of always asking questions to explore the world. Today, Smithsonian scientists, historians and curators continue this tradition, using the power of the question to better understand their field.
Now, with ‘Ask Smithsonian,’ Smithsonian magazine gives you the chance to ask your own questions—and have them answered by the Smithsonian’s remarkable group of experts and researchers. Submit your own big questions—whether in the sciences, humanities, or any topic you’ve been wondering about—and give these experts the chance to ponder all sorts of things. For each month’s issue, we’ll select a batch of reader-submitted questions and publish them in the magazine, along with answers from the experts.