CURRENT ISSUE

May 2014

Subscribe magazine covers

Features

MAY14_O01_Greene.jpg

Listening to the Big Bang

Just-reported ripples in space may open a window on the very beginning of the universe

MAY14_B01_Rosenbaum.jpg

The White Veil

In one of his final interviews, the award-winning writer talks about what inspired him to travel to the farthest reaches of the globe

billboard-MAY14_P01_SciFiEssay.jpg

Brave New Words

The literary genre isn’t meant to predict the future, but implausible ideas that fire inventors’ imaginations often, amazingly, come true

billboard-MAY14_E02_DeepBrain.jpg

Mind Craft

The most futuristic medical treatment ever imagined is now a reality

Patrick Stewart

Command Performance

The actor whose leading roles in “Star Trek” and X-Men have taken him into the far future, reflects on where present-day society is headed

MAY14_I01_Heat.jpg

Hot Enough For You?

As global warming makes sizzling temperatures more common, will human beings be able to keep their cool? New research suggests not

Café Future

A new poem by David Yezzi

child robot science fiction poll

Science Friction

What are they most fearful of? What are they most optimistic about?

MAY14_H03_Exoplanets.jpg

Signs of Life

Planetary scientist Sara Seager has turned tragedy into tenacity in her search for new Earths among the stars

MAY14_A01_NationalTreasure.jpg

Almost Human

With its stubby cylindrical body and playful whistles and beeps, the lovable Star Wars’ robot R2-D2 is just the right mix of man and machine

billboard-MAY14_F03_Cellphone.jpg

Inventing the Real McCoy

The fantastic tricorder device that “Bones” used to scan aliens on “Star Trek” is nearly at hand—in your cellphone

The Pay Phone

A new poem by Joshua Mehigan

Departments

Letters to the Editor

Discussion

From our readers

From the Editor

From the Editor

From the Editor

Phenomena

Reversal

Humans have damaged the world’s forests, but not irreparably

Phenomena

Flip Art

A painter looks at her canvas from a new perspective

Phenomena

Pole Reversal

On the University of Maryland campus, a giant whirligig tries to predict the planet’s next big flip

Phenomena

Fearless

PTSD treatments could soon extend beyond therapy

Around the Mall

This Just In

After a two-year run on Broadway, the web-slinging stage show's iconic superhero costume is heading to the Smithsonian.

Around the Mall

Less Wooden

The painter gave his sibling Nan a makeover in his alluring portrait of her

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

You asked, we answered

Fast Forward

Fast Forward

NASA prepares to send humans into deep space