Articles by Rachael Lallensack

An RN administers the Covid-19 vaccine to a nurse at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2020

From the rapid development of vaccines for Covid-19 to the stunning collection of an asteroid sample, these were the biggest science moments of the year

One specimen of the ultra-black fish species Anoplogaster cornuta.

Innovation for Good

Ten Scientific Discoveries From 2020 That May Lead to New Inventions

From soaring snakes to surfing suckerfish, nature is an endless source of inspiration

This year's top ten titles explore the cosmos, fear and cleanliness alongside narratives about owls, fish and eels.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2020

New titles explore the mysterious lives of eels, the science of fear and our connections to the stars

Rattlesnakes can bite after death.

14 Fun Facts About Frightening Animals

From snakes that eat their prey alive to primates that inject their peers with flesh-rotting venom, these are the scariest deeds committed by critters

About 70 miles south of the Natural History Museum, Westmoreland State Park’s Fossil Beach is a hotbed for prehistoric shark teeth.

Five Places Where You Can Collect Fossils in the D.C. Area

You don’t have to venture far to make awesome finds

Monitor local animal populations, identify plants, transcribe women astronomers' notes, bird-watch and more.

Education During Coronavirus

Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online

From astrophysicists to entomologists, many researchers need the help of citizen scientists to sift through immense data collections

Stream live or watch repeated broadcast overnight.

Planet Positive

LIVE NOW: Watch the Smithsonian's Earth Optimism Digital Summit

The two-day virtual event will bring scientists and many other experts to highlight success stories in conservation

Echo, a five-year-old cheetah and first-time mother, gave birth to four cubs on April 8.

Watch Live as the National Zoo’s Cheetah Gives Birth to a Litter of Cubs

Congratulations to first-time mother Echo the cheetah!

Graphic illustrating the MAVEN spacecraft encountering plasma layers at Mars.

Ten Trends That Will Shape Science in the Decade Ahead

Medicine gets trippy, solar takes over, and humanity—finally, maybe—goes back to the moon

Two giraffes

Fourteen Fun Facts About Love and Sex in the Animal Kingdom

Out in the wild, flowers and candy just aren’t gonna cut it

“Within a timespan of about 150 years, Americans transitioned from being mass consumers of ivory goods to enacting legal measures aimed at supporting elephant conservation," says the Smithsonian's Carlene Stephens.

What Elephants Teach Us About Consumption and Extinction

A new exhibition places the human-elephant relationship in the context of American history

The Ten Best Science Books of 2019

New titles explore the workings of the human body, the lives of animals big and small, the past and future of planet earth and how it's all connected

Paired Images of Melting Glaciers and Flooding Wetlands Tell the Story of Global Climate Change

Photographer Tina Freeman's exhibition ‘Lamentations’ at the New Orleans Museum of Art juxtaposes two different environments

On a cold day in early spring in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve, photographer Yongqing Bao watched a fox and marmot tango for about an hour before they finally clashed. Minutes later, the fox trotted away with a delicious meal.

See a Fox Spook a Marmot and More Award-Winning Wildlife Photographs

The London National History Museum’s 55th annual contest garnered more than 48,000 entries from 100 different countries

The team discovered a whale fall while exploring Davidson Seamount off central California’s coast.

Cool Finds

Watch Marine Life Feast on a Complete Whale Skeleton on the Ocean Floor

It’s spooky season on the seafloor, too

SmartCan is essentially a pair of robotic wheels that are compatible with any municipal-issued trash receptacle.

This Robotic Trash Can Takes Itself to the Curb

The award-winning invention automates a 'chore that everyone hates'

In this agricultural revolution, there are plenty of mind-blowing devices to awe and excite.

Five Roles Robots Will Play in the Future of Farming

From picking fruit to pulling weeds, robotics are bringing precision farming to life

Monon and Ottily Bayer, the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Bayer of Costamesa, California, pose in a small, "bunk bed" trailer at their campground in the Shasta National Forest. California, August 1953.

Ten Inventive Attempts to Make Camping More Comfortable

Making a stay in the great outdoors more luxe isn’t new—even if glamping and #vanlife are

Birds are considered an indicator species, representing the health of entire ecosystems.

North America Has Lost Nearly 3 Billion Birds Since 1970

The staggering population loss of 29 percent of North American birds could signal an ecological crisis

Astronaut Christina Koch of the International Space Station captured this image of Hurricane Dorian outside the space station’s windows the morning of Sept. 2, 2019.

Hurricane Dorian Batters the Bahamas Before Barreling Along the U.S. Coast

The storm caused historic damage in the Caribbean islands, where it hovered for some 48 hours

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