Innovation

Were it not for tuberculosis, artist and furniture maker Daniel Mack writes, “It’s unlikely that there would have been an Adirondack chair.”

How the Adirondack Chair Became the Feel-Good Recliner That Cures What Ails You

The furniture piece has gone through countless permutations, but it all started at a time when resting outdoors was thought to be a matter of life or death

"I had 'Earthseed' in mind when I created the portrait of Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower is one of my favorites of Butler's novels," says Nettrice Gaskins.

The Pioneering Sci-Fi Writer Octavia E. Butler Joins a Pantheon of Celebrated Futurists

The author’s career is honored by a newly commissioned work by digital artist Nettrice Gaskins

The researchers flew their fridge on parabolic flights to simulate a microgravity environment.

Innovation for Good

The Quest to Build a Functional, Energy-Efficient Refrigerator That Works in Space

Designed and tested by Purdue University engineers, this new appliance would lengthen the shelf life of food on long missions

The Anacostia Community Museum was able to serve incarcerated audiences through use of newly issued tablets at the D.C. Jail.

Smithsonian Voices

Reaching Out to Those Behind Bars

Learn how the Anacostia Community Museum redesigned its acclaimed exhibition "Men of Change" as a digital offering for incarcerated audiences

Will an American athlete from the Tokyo Games grab gold and become the next to be featured on the cover of Wheaties?

The Tokyo Olympics

How Wheaties Became the 'Breakfast of Champions'

Images of Olympians and other athletes on boxes helped the cereal maintain a competitive edge

A mural in Munich's former Olympic Village features Otl Aicher's pictograms.

The Tokyo Olympics

This Graphic Artist's Olympic Pictograms Changed Urban Design Forever

Having lived through Germany's Nazi regime, Otl Aicher went on to pioneer democratic design

Team USA Stamps

Smithsonian Voices

The Science Behind a Faster, Higher, Stronger Team U.S.A.

The unsung heroes behind the Summer Olympics are the scientists and engineers whose inventions and innovations help athletes

James Delgado, the former director of NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program, says there is consensus that the Prinzessin Victoria Luise was the “first purpose-built, non-private excursion ship: what we call ‘cruise’ ships today.”

The History of the World's First Cruise Ship Built Solely for Luxurious Travel

At the turn of the 20th century, a German Jewish shipping executive had an innovative idea for a new revenue stream: the cruise

The entrance to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.

Fifty Years Ago, Berkeley Restaurant Chez Panisse Launched the Farm-to-Table Movement

'Local, organic, sustainable' are common buzzwords on American menus now, but it wasn't always that way

The Covid pandemic prompted universities to rethink the value of standardized tests for admissions.

Has the Pandemic Put an End to the SAT and ACT?

Many colleges and universities stopped requiring the tests during Covid, and it is unclear if they will return to testing in the future

Nine out of 10 malaria victims live in Africa, most of them children under the age of five.

Innovation for Good

West African Scientists Are Leading the Science Behind a Malaria Vaccine

Researchers in Mali have been working for decades on the treatment that's now in the final phase of clinical trials

Chris Meyer, a marine invertebrate zoologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, dives around French Polynesia with equipment used to track coral reef health.

Future of Conservation

Meet the Reef Expert Collecting Environmental Time Capsules

Collecting DNA in waters worldwide can help scientists figure out which places are the most important for conservation

Rain, waves, and seeping groundwater can destabilize seaside bluffs, making them prone to collapse.

The Science of Predicting When Bluffs in Southern California Will Collapse

Researchers are using lidar to better understand the erosional forces that cause oceanfront cliffs to crumble

Moments that highlight the joy and excitement of scientific inquiry—such as this student using a Van de Graaff generator—can spark interest in a STEM-related career. Here are some career-focused resources that can supplement that interest.

Innovation for Good

Why These Myths Perpetuate Who Can Work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers

Ask a child to draw a scientist, and research says they’ll often draw an older, usually white, man, with wild hair, wearing a lab coat and goggles

An Atlantic White Shark Conservancy boat and crew work to tag a great white shark in the waters off the shore in Cape Cod, Massachusetts on July 13, 2019.

Can New Tools Help Beachgoers Predict the Likelihood That a Shark Is Nearby?

Great whites have returned to Cape Cod, and efforts are underway to help people coexist with them

Oluwaseyi at a Movie screening hosted by her organization in commemoration of Global Recycling Day 2021.

Smithsonian Voices

How Nigeria's Oluwaseyi Moejoh's Conservation Activism Is Spreading Across Africa and Beyond

The founder of U-recycle Initiative Africa, current law student, and all-around force for positive change is a powerful advocate for a sustainable planet

A sampling of the creative projects inspired by artworks and artmaking techniques found within the Hirshhorn’s collections, available from the “Hirshhorn Kids at Home” series.

Smithsonian Voices

Fun (and Free) Ideas to Keep Kids Learning This Summer

Over 20 unique and creative ideas from across the Smithsonian for engaging learners

Dune Lankard is embracing a method called regenerative ocean farming.

Facing Warming Waters, Fishermen Are Taking Up Ocean Farming

Called regenerative ocean farming, this model involves growing shellfish and kelp in underwater gardens

Inventive and egalitarian, the Arts and Industries Building is due to open in November after being closed for nearly two decades.

Smithsonian 175

The Storied Past and Inspiring Future of the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

It was once the Institution's most forward-looking museum. Soon it will be again

Whether your steaks are thick or thin, research can help you grill for optimum flavor.

The Science Behind Grilling the Perfect Steak

Want to learn how cooking transforms beef’s flavor? Meat scientists have the answers.

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