Big Ideas

El Greco: Apocalyptic Vision {The Vision of St. John)

Where Do New Ideas Come From?

With close study, the genealogies of even the most original ideas can be traced

Part of the Great Trail in Nova Scotia

Trending Today

Canada Completes World's Longest Hiking Trail

After 25 years and millions of dollars, the coast-to-coast hiking, biking and paddling trail has an official route

This approximate true-color image of the Gusev Crater is one of the three potential landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover.

Life in the Cosmos

Check Out NASA's Three Options for the 2020 Mars Rover Landing

Scientists have narrowed down potential sites for the next rover to set wheel on the red planet

Researchers show a mouse an image of cat while recording neuron activity in its visual cortex

New Research

Mice Watching "Touch of Evil" Teach Scientists About the Mind's Eye

By tracking mice neurons, scientists hope to understand consciousness

The Innovative Spirit

What is the Nine Millionth Patent?

The landmark announcement is part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Patent Act

A view of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

New Research

The Galaxy May Be Way Bigger Than We Thought

New data analysis suggests that the Milky Way may be 50-percent larger than previously believed

Trending Today

How “Learned Deafness” Might be Letting Noise Pollution Win

The world may be noisier than ever but one scientist warns that our attempts to blot out the sound may cost us dearly

In an illustration unrelated to the study from the University of California, one kind of nano-bot is depicted in the bloodstream.

New Research

Scientists Test Out Tiny Robots Meant to Travel Inside a Human Body

The first test of micro-machines on a living mouse marks a breakthrough in the field of nano-robotics

A house in Detroit is demolished in 1992

Big Ideas

40,000 of Detroit’s Buildings Could Be Torn Down

Detroit's Blight Removal Task Force is urging the city to tear down thousands of vacant buildings

Atlas V Launches the New Horizons Mission to Pluto.

Future Is Here Festival

Take a Peek Into the Future's Present With Our Live Coverage of Smithsonian's Two-Day Festival

The magazine's 2nd annual conference brings together experts, authors and visionaries in the fields of science, science fiction and technology.


Big Ideas

Coastal Cities Don't Just Need to Worry About Rising Seas; They're Also on Sinking Land

Some cities are facing a future of rising sea levels while the ground under their feet is sinking

Mark and Scott Kelly in 2011

Big Ideas

Twin Astronauts Are Helping NASA Learn How a Year in Space Changes the Human Body

Mark and Scott Kelly will be part of a living experiment

Big Ideas

Everything at This 4,500-Year-Old Site Was Removed—And Then Reburied

An unprecedented trove of artifacts and burials found at a development site were recently removed and reburied

A trash dump outside of the capitol of Easter Island, pictured in 2011

Big Ideas

Easter Island's Monumental Garbage Problem

As tourism increases, so does the trash on this remote island

Big Ideas

You Can Read All 17,198 of Susan Sontag's Emails

She sent emails with subject lines like "Whassup?"

Passport Pages

Big Ideas

India And the EU Are Making It Much Easier for Tourists to Get Visas

Traveling can get tangled in red tape, but some governments are trying to make it easier

Inle Lake

Big Ideas

Myanmar Is Becoming A Tourist Destination, But at a Cost

As more tourists enter the country, environmentalists worry about local ecosystems

Cigarette Seller in Iran

Big Ideas

Cigarette Smuggling Is Rampant in Places Where a Pack Costs $14.50—And Where a Pack Cost Fifty Cents

In a roundabout way, the Iranian government may actually benefit from cigarette smuggling

Bryce Canyon National Park

Big Ideas

National Parks More Than Pay for Themselves

It turns out there are some very practical reasons to keep the parks going

New Zealand's Flag

Big Ideas

New Zealand Wants a New, Less British Flag

Seeking to carve out an identity distinct from the UK, some in New Zealand are pushing for a new flag

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