Human Behavior

Olympic runners compete during the 10,000 meters race in Tokyo. In ancient times, running was likely used to push animals to exhaustion during hunting.

Five Ways Humans Evolved to Be Athletes

An archaeologist explores how our prowess in sport has deep roots in evolution

Ana K. Spalding and 23 other women scientists from around the world, advocate for a shift in the value system in science, to emphasize a more equal, diverse and inclusive academic culture.

Smithsonian Voices

Women in Science Propose Changes to Discriminatory Measures of Scientific Success

The scientists advocate shifting the current value system, which is biased against women and minorities, towards a more diverse and inclusive model

Bodies lose their vigor with the passing of the years, but emotional well-being tends to improve, studies find. Among the observations: Though older people may have fewer social contacts, those they retain bring more satisfaction and meaning.

Why Do Older Individuals Have Greater Control of Their Feelings?

Psychologist Susan Turk Charles talks about findings that reveal the elderly have higher emotional well-being

Whether they are left- or right-handed, mothers tend to carry their babies on the left side of their bodies.

14 Fun Facts About the Science of Motherhood

A short list of the amazing changes and behaviors that transform both humans and animals on the journey of motherhood

Many people think that liars will give themselves away through nervous mannerisms like shrugging, blinking or smiling. But the scientific evidence tells a different story.

Why You Can't Spot a Liar Just by Looking

Psychologists say you can't confirm deception by the way a person acts—but experts are zeroing in other methods that might actually work

There are over eight million feet of film in the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA), which is part of the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives. HSFA specializes in storing ethnographic footage created by anthropologists, filmmakers and travelers.

Smithsonian Voices

How Film Helps Preserve the World's Diversity

The Smithsonian's Human Studies Film Archive houses eight million feet of film which can help future generations reflect on the past

Sylvester Musembi Musyoka, a Kenyan colleague and field crew leader, recording a large mammal fossil bone during a virtual field project to collect fossils in Kenyan excavation sites that were in danger of being damaged by severe weather.

Smithsonian Voices

How the Pandemic Changed Scientific Exploration

Seven Smithsonian scientists continued to discover the secrets of the natural world safely during the pandemic

A hallmark of our cognitive abilities is to be able to calculate and respond to future probabilities. We will have to adapt to this pandemic reality, but adaptation is something that humans are famously good at.

Covid-19

Why This Pandemic Won't Be the Last

Smithsonian biological anthropologist Sabrina Sholts says Covid-19 illustrates that what makes us human also makes us more vulnerable to global contagions

A statue of Charles Darwin sits in the Natural History Museum in London. The scientist's book 'Descent of Man' was published in 1871.

How Darwin's 'Descent of Man' Holds Up 150 Years After Publication

Questions still swirl around the author’s theories about sexual selection and the evolution of minds and morals

Both sides of a shark tooth from Rio do Meio, an artifact which may have been used as a cutting tool. Archaeologists think it was bound to a wooden shaft by cord, strung through the drilled holes.

Why Did Ancient Indigenous Groups in Brazil Hunt Sharks?

New studies show that shark meat may have constituted half of their diet and that the beasts' teeth were used as arrow tips and razor blades

This image diagrams the difference between human and chimpanzee models of thumb muscles, which the researchers used to study the evolution of thumb dexterity.

How Dexterous Thumbs May Have Helped Shape Evolution Two Million Years Ago

Fossils and biochemical models show tool-wielding hominins used their hands like we do today

A child sleeps in his parents bed.

Researchers Say the Purpose of Sleep Shifts During the 'Terrible Twos'

A multidisciplinary team offers up an exact age when REM sleep decreases

In Boston's Mattapan on August 15, 2020, protesters march from Jubilee Christian Church to protest police brutality, systemic racism and other oppressive systems unfavorable to Black and Brown people.

Why Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color Experience Greater Harm During the Pandemic

Scholars take a deep dive into how structural racism intersects with public health

In a live-streamed Smithsonian Associates program on September 23, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Alan Alda discuss the intricacies of the virus that has held the public in sway since March.

Smithsonian Voices

Anthony Fauci and Alan Alda Talk Science and 26 Other Smithsonian Programs Streaming in September

This month drop in on events about global climate justice, Picasso's 'Guernica,' bird brains, the Supreme Court, William Faulkner, orchids and more

Vervet monkeys among fallen dead leaves and grass

Monkeys’ Attraction to Burned Grasslands May Offer Clues to Human Ancestors’ Mastery of Fire

A new study finds monkeys enter charred savannahs to avoid predators, lending support to a controversial theory about what drew hominins to blazes

Plunguian’s watercolor of Einstein in his Princeton office.

Smithsonian Voices

Did Einstein Understand the Limitations of Testing?

Smithsonian fellow Kimberly Probolus looks into the past and future of knowledge tests

Airburst from a comet may have destroyed a Paleolithic settlement 12,800 years ago.

A Comet May Have Destroyed This Paleolithic Village 12,800 Years Ago

Fragments of a comet likely hit Earth 12,800 years ago, and a little Paleolithic village in Syria might have suffered the impact

Ostrich eggshell beads were exchanged between ancient hunter-gatherers living in distant, ecologically diverse regions of southern Africa, including deserts and high mountains.

Humans Have Been Taking Out Insurance Policies for at Least 30,000 Years

A study of beads made from ostrich eggshells suggests the humans of the Kalahari Desert region formed social networks to help each other

The Smithsonian's “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” exhibition is joining other efforts to combat misinformation about COVID-19 on multiple fronts. Volunteers, public programs and forthcoming content updates are providing visitors with access to credible and relevant information.

Covid-19

How Museums Can Help the Public Make Sense of Pandemics

We can’t let fear overrun science, says Sabrina Sholts, the Smithsonian’s curator of biological anthropology

A Ludus Latrunculorum board found in Roman Britain

The Best Board Games of the Ancient World

Thousands of years before Monopoly, people were playing games like Senet, Patolli and Chaturanga

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