Social SciencesThe social sciences study cultural artifacts, innovations, language and behaviors to discover how humans relate to each other and to society
Back in the 1960s, Walter Mischel, a psychology professor at Stanford, conducted an experiment called the "marshmallow test" on a group of four-year-olds. A child was given a marshmallow and told he could either ring a bell to summon the researcher and get to eat the marshmallow right away or wait...
August 11, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
In 1532, when the Incas first met a European, their empire stretched from what is now northern Ecuador to central Chile. The largest empire of the Americas numbered more than eight million people. But the Incas didn’t exist until about A.D. 1100. Before than, the Wari and Tiwanauku occupied the cen...
August 05, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Dunwich, England, is one of several underwater sites where divers are discovering new information about historic cultures
July 29, 2009 | By Robin T. Reid
The next time a creationist spouts some nonsense about how the lack of a fossil record undermines the theory of evolution, direct them to the hominid family tree. If you haven't read much about human origins lately, it might come as a surprise that so many species have been identified (and more all...
July 23, 2009 | By Laura Helmuth
With these various instruments, Galileo Galilei was able to look into space and change our view of the universe.
July 20, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
A traveling exhibition of China's terra cotta warriors sheds new light on the ruler whose tomb they guarded
July 2009 | By Arthur Lubow
A trove of spectacular objects from the Kremlin’s collection highlights Ottoman opulence
June 11, 2009 | By Katy June-Friesen
French amateur archaeologist Bruno Tassan fights to preserve a neglected 2,000-year-old ancient interstate in southern Provence
June 2009 | By Joshua Hammer
Does an obscure nerve cell help explain what gorillas, elephants, whales—and people—have in common?
June 2009 | By Ingfei Chen
Most of the time, it feels quite natural to have a kitty prowling your home or curled up on the bed. On occasion, though, you might look at one and wonder how it got there. A new article in Scientific American plots out the journey:~10,000 years ago (ya): The house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) t...
May 27, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
A scientist by training, author Philip Alcabes studies the etymology of epidemiology and the cultural fears of worldwide disease
April 28, 2009 | By Abigail Tucker
Do we take more risks when we feel safe? Fifty years after we began using the three-point seatbelt, there's a new answer
April 2009 | By William Ecenbarger
Beneath the ruins of Genghis Khan’s capital city in Central Asia, archaeologists discovered artifacts from cultures near and far
March 25, 2009 | By Abigail Tucker
Art and artifacts reveal the elaborate maritime pleasure palaces established by Romans around the Bay of Naples
March 16, 2009 | By Jason Edward Kaufman
The Smithsonian opens one of its prized artifacts and a story unfolds
March 11, 2009 | By Beth Py-Lieberman
The excavation of a notorious jail recalls Virginia's leading role in the slave trade
March 2009 | By Abigail Tucker
Forensic anthropologists at the National Museum of Natural History find answers to a colonial cold case
March 2009 | By Joseph Caputo
Controversy swirls as to whether an archaeologist's claim to fame as the discoverer of Machu Picchu has any merit
March 2009 | By Peter Eisner
Tucked away in libraries across the country are unexpected archives and world-class treasures
March 01, 2009 | By Kristin Ohlson
A recently discovered pyramid and tomb in Egypt may shed light on a dark episode in a pharaonic tradition of court intrigue
February 03, 2009 | By Stephen Glain