Alfred Russel Wallace arrived at the theory of natural selection independently of Charles Darwin and nearly outscooped Darwin’s The Origin of Species
January 22, 2009 | By Lyn Garrity
In 2009, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (check out the magazine in February for Smithsonian’s take on the subject, including how his life relates to that of his birthday companion, Abraham Lincoln). With all of the events planned throughout the year to honor Darwi...
December 31, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
How far we have come from 1609, when Galileo Galilei first aimed his telescope towards the little twinkly dots in the sky and saw stars and planets. Turning his sights on Jupiter in 1610, he noticed that some stars near the planet disappeared over the following nights—he had discovered some of the ...
December 19, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
Smithsonian’s blogging chief Laura Helmuth has a question for the readers of this blog, inspired by Charles Seife’s latest book, Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking.One of the people discussed in Sun in a Bottle is Edward Teller, best known for his wor...
December 17, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
Michael Stringer of Westcliff-on-Sea, England won the 2008 Nikon Small world Photomicrography Competition earlier this year with this image of marine diatoms (a type of algae) from the genus Pleurosigma.
This image was one of a series Mr. Stringer created to illustrate a talk to a camera club on “P...
December 05, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
You remember Nicolaus Copernicus, right? He’s the 16th-century Polish astronomer who was the first to figure out that earth was not the center of the universe, that the earth and all the other planets orbited the sun. But he wasn’t always so well known. Copernicus worked as a church administrator s...
November 24, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
While reading the Guardian (the UK newspaper) over the weekend, I came across a little article in which a British scientist was complaining about the absurdity of featuring a drawing of a hummingbird (below) on the 10-pound note that honors Charles Darwin (it’s the 200th anniversary of his birth ne...
November 20, 2008 | By Sarah Zielinski
No detail is too small for students at the Linnaean games, an annual national insect trivia competition
November 17, 2008 | By Abigail Tucker
The first biography of Galileo Galilei resurfaces and offers a new theory as to why the astronomer was put on trial
August 12, 2008 | By Mike Price
Charles Darwin's bid for enduring fame was sparked 150 years ago by word of a rival's research
June 2008 | By Richard Conniff
Carl Linnaeus, born 300 years ago, brought order to nature's blooming, buzzing confusion
May 2007 | By Kennedy Warne
Archaeologists believe they have found the remains of the 16th century astronomer who revolutionized our view of the universe
May 2006 | By Andrew Curry
A creationist when he visited the Galápagos Islands, the great naturalist grasped the full significance of the unique wildlife he found there only well after he had returned to London
December 2005 | By Frank J. Sulloway
After DNA, what could he possibly do for an encore?
November 01, 2005 | By Smithsonian magazine
His dizzying discoveries in 1905 would forever change our understanding of the universe. Amid all the centennial hoopla, the trick is to separate the man from the math
June 2005 | By Richard Panek
Before the phonograph and lightbulb, the electric pen helped spell the future for Thomas Edison
August 1998 | By Bruce Watson
What a difference the Difference Engine made: from Charles Babbage's calculator emerged today's computer
The incredible world of computers was born some 150 years ago, with a clunky machine dreamed up by a calculating genius named Charles Babbage
February 1996 | By Edwards Park