Though underrepresented in some fields, female scientists are no longer rare. That wasn’t the case for a very long time. Usually when you see historical photos of scientists, there will be only a woman or two among them. The Smithsonian Institution Archives, though, has put together a collection of...
March 24, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Lectures, symposia, essays and articles are not my idea of a birthday party, but that’s how institutions around the world are celebrating Charles Darwin’s big 2-0-0. In my opinion, you can’t have a party without drink and dance, and luckily Darwin is a muse for scientists and entertainers alike. P...
February 13, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Known for discovering oxygen, scientist Joseph Priestly also influenced the beliefs of our founding fathers.
February 09, 2009 | By Bruce Hathaway
UPDATE (3.23.09): According to widespread news reports, Mt. Redoubt erupted last night four times and is expected to continue similar activity for "some days, weeks, maybe even months."Volcanoes around the world erupt each week, but we rarely pay any attention unless the level of destruction is par...
February 05, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Born on the same day, Lincoln and Darwin would forever influence how people think about the modern world
February 2009 | By Adam Gopnik
Today's scientists marvel that the 19th-century naturalist's grand vision of evolution is still the key to life
February 2009 | By Thomas Hayden
Smithsonian's Laura Helmuth vacationed in the Galapagos Islands and returned with even more respect for Charles Darwin
January 30, 2009 | By Laura Helmuth
On this blog, several of the staff of Smithsonian magazine have been debating who was more important, Abraham Lincoln or Charles Darwin. T.A. Frail and Mark Strauss argued for Lincoln and Laura Helmuth for Darwin. And now it’s my turn.I’m not going to take up Mark’s challenge and attempt to argue t...
January 27, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Last week we asked: Who was more important, Abraham Lincoln or Charles Darwin? T.A. Frail took up the fight for Lincoln, and Laura Helmuth argued for Darwin. Today, senior editor Mark Strauss, the grand organizer of all of our recent Lincoln coverage in the magazine, takes the helm.Please add your ...
January 26, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Recently, someone here at Smithsonian asked: Who was more important, Abraham Lincoln or Charles Darwin? Yesterday, senior editor T.A. Frail took up the fight for Lincoln. Today, our blog overseer, senior editor Laura Helmuth, argues for Darwin.Please add your own arguments to the comments. Make a c...
January 23, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Recipes offer an intimate glimpse into the life of Charles Darwin and his family
January 23, 2009 | By Kathleen M. Burke
Next month we celebrate an odd double anniversary—the 200th anniversaries of the births of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Yes, they were born on the same day. And being that history and science are two of our favorite topics at Smithsonian, someone asked: Who was more important, Lincoln or Dar...
January 22, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Two of the world’s greatest modern thinkers are much celebrated, but what did they know of one another?
January 22, 2009 | By Laura Helmuth, Mark Strauss and Terence Monmaney
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
How one man's obsession saved an "extinct" species
January 02, 2009 | By Rob R. Dunn
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