Readers Respond to the May 2021 Issue

Your feedback on James Turrell’s artwork, motherhood science, the Associated Press turning 150 and more

Science of Motherhood

I was fascinated by what was discovered in the bodies and brains of experimental animals and how they reacted (“The Making of a Mom,” May 2021). I guess the maternal instinct goes further than we thought.

—Lois Sobel | Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Desert Artwork

James Turrell is comparable to Nikola Tesla (“The Light Fantastic,” May 2021). He has the ability to hold visions of completed projects in his imagination and knows exactly what processes are needed to finish those endeavors to his standards. He is obviously a human who is at minimum a century ahead of the rest of us in his thinking.

—Daniel Durnam | Belgrade, Montana

Turrell is truly a genius. I would love to see and experience this place. Such a unique creation. I would hope it will be accessible to all people, not just the financially prosperous. Too much of this world is only available to those with money. We all have brains and senses: We all should be able to use them.

—Paula Summers | Fair Oaks, California

Making News

Yes, neutrality is an unattainable goal (“Eyewitness to History,” May 2021), but if we ever stop trying to attain this goal, we will be in serious trouble. Back in the mid-19th century, there were relatively few unbiased news sources available and the Associated Press filled a real need. The need still exists. I hope someone will continue to stumble after this elusive ideal even in our current jungle of opinionated views.

—Joe Cramer | Hendersonville, North Carolina

Riveting Image

The grand prize photo by Skyler Wilson (“Silence Speaks,” May 2021) riveted my attention. The gaze of the two Oglala Lakota Nation sisters protesting missing and murdered indigenous women and girls pierced my heart and soul.

—C.J. Drake | Philomath, Oregon

Cry of the Wolf

Thank you for “The Wolf That Discovered the Golden State” (April 2021). This is the kind of communication needed to bring to light an existential crisis for wolves across no fewer than five Western states. If these were pandas or even orcas, the public would not stand for what is going on, but wolves have long been mischaracterized. Wolves are highly intelligent and social creatures that play an important role in the wild. There are effective nonlethal deterrents available for responsible ranchers.

—Robert Hungate | via email

Service Dolphins

It is long past time for the Navy to retire its dolphins and sea lions for military use (“Military Mammals,” April 2021). It is immoral for us to use animals as intelligent and gentle as dolphins to fight our human wars.

—Mark J. Palmer | Earth Island Institute, Berkeley, California

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This article is a selection from the June issue of Smithsonian magazine