Innovation

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Women archers compete at the 1908 London Olympics.

From Corsets to Singlets, the Olympics Have Driven the Evolution of Women's Sportswear

The bold choices of female athletes like Serena Williams have pushed brands, including Nike and Speedo, to produce better gear

A woman named Evelyn Thaw dodges a camera, 1909

How the Rise of the Camera Launched a Fight to Protect Gilded Age Americans' Privacy

Early photographers sold their snapshots to advertisers, who reused the individuals' likenesses without their permission

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Tired of Diplomacy as Usual, This Congressman Flew Solo to Promote World Peace

Representative Peter F. Mack’s soaring diplomatic ambitions made aviation history as he traveled through Europe, South Asia, Japan and then across the vast Pacific Ocean

Scientists are getting better at keeping premature baby sharks alive in aquariums—a boon when captive sharks give birth early, or when aquariums receive donations of living shark fetuses taken from mothers that die in fishing nets.

Preemie Sharks Get by With a Little Help From an Artificial Uterus

Scientists manufactured a womb that could potentially help bolster populations of endangered shark species

Water breaks against Galveston Island’s century-old seawall. The barrier was an engineering marvel in the early 1900s, but the island needs more protection today.

Galveston’s Texas-Size Plan to Stop the Next Big Storm

In the wake of Hurricane Ike, engineers have been crafting a $34 billion plan to protect the city. Will it work when the next disaster arrives?

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How Dungeons & Dragons Sparked a Revolution in How We Play Just About Everything

Created more than 50 years ago, the game has captured the imaginations of generations of Americans, and not just the nerdy ones

In 1881, Fanny Angelina Hesse suggested agar, a jelly-like substance she used in cooking, as a replacement for gelatin, which scientists used to study microorganisms.

Meet the Forgotten Woman Who Revolutionized Microbiology With a Simple Kitchen Staple

Fanny Angelina Hesse introduced agar to the life sciences in 1881. A trove of unpublished family papers sheds new light on her many accomplishments

In order to build ships strong and technically savvy enough to traverse through some of the most remote and challenging landscapes on Earth, several cruise companies borrowed designs from other parts of the shipping industry.

How a New Line of Expedition Ships Is Turning the Tides on Polar Seas

High-tech features are making treacherous ocean passages feel tame

“When I was making it, people laughed at me a good deal,” Charles F. Ritchel later said. “But so they did at Noah when he built the ark.”

Twenty-Five Years Before the Wright Brothers Took to the Skies, This Flying Machine Captivated America

First exhibited in 1878, Charles F. Ritchel's dirigible was about as wacky, dangerous and impractical as any airship ever launched

One of the new benthic landers is lowered into the Gulf of Mexico via a system of winches and safety lines. Once released, the autonomous platform sinks at a carefully calculated rate until it lands on the seafloor.

These Innovative Landers Will Examine Coral Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico

Scientists plan to use what they learn to help restore communities harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

"Top Chef" contestant Eric Adjepong's scallop yassa

These Chefs Are Elevating African and Caribbean Cuisines From Carryouts to Fine Dining

More Americans are eating and learning about dishes such as fufu and curried goat in establishments recognized by the highest echelon of the culinary world

Flow Club is a membership service that hosts dozens of online coworking sessions a day.

Can Virtual Coworking Platforms Make Us More Productive?

Membership services like Flow Club, Flown and Caveday offer online study halls complete with proctors and goal setting

A Spectra Physics Model A supermarket scanner—one of the first ten ever produced. A laser within the unit projects a beam onto a mirror that redirects it through the glass plate on the top.

The Supermarket Scanner Changed the Way We Buy Groceries Forever

Invented 50 years ago, the curious box deciphered an arcane kind of code to offer shoppers a trip into the future

This 2014 acrylic painting by Taralee Guild captures the glistening promise of a 1960s Airstream at Pismo Beach, California.

How the Airstream Hit the Open Road

This space-age sensation kicked the American road trip into high gear

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This Doctor Pioneered Counting Calories a Century Ago, and We’re Still Dealing With the Consequences

When Lulu Hunt Peters brought Americans a new method for weighing their dinner options, she launched a century of diet fads that left us hungry for a better way to keep our bodies strong and healthy

The Old Lahaina Courthouse was destroyed in a wildfire on August 11, 2023.

University Students in Hawaii Use Cutting-Edge Technology to Digitally Restore Historic Buildings Damaged by Maui Wildfires

A new course at University of Hawaii at Manoa rethinks historic preservation, having enrollees design digital twins of notable structures so that people can experience them virtually

Two X-wing CAVs flew over the opening ceremony of an attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World Resort in December 2019. 

How Engineers Created a Flying 'Star Wars' X-Wing

The starfighter-outfitted drone was the first remotely piloted aircraft of its kind and size approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for public demonstration

A number of people deserve credit for the birth of the Pop-Tart.

The Contentious History of the Pop-Tart

In the 1960s, two cereal giants raced to develop a toaster pastry

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How Artificial Intelligence Is Making 2,000-Year-Old Scrolls Readable Again

The innovative “Vesuvius Challenge” unlocked a mystery that had confounded archeologists for centuries

The Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station. Geothermal power has long been popular in volcanic countries like Iceland, where hot water bubbles from the ground.

Is Geothermal Power Heating Up as an Energy Source?

Long confined to regions with volcanic activity, the method of harnessing energy from the Earth promises to become much more versatile thanks to new technologies

Photo of the day

Incredible morning in Scotland, as we were on our way to the Highlands. Green fields, sheep scattered on hills, rams staring at us with curiosity, fog retreating uphill. Like a moment, taken out of a fairy tale, completely caught me by surprise. The whole day I wasn't able to believe this scene was actually real and did happen. Spirit of Scotland