History of Science

An etching of Darwin's study, commissioned a week after he died.

See What Charles Darwin Kept in His 'Insanely Eclectic' Personal Library, Revealed for the First Time

On the English naturalist's 215th birthday, more than 9,000 titles from his expansive collection are now accessible online

A California grizzly bear specimen at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The brown bear subspecies went extinct around 1924.

California Grizzlies Weren't as Big—or Bloodthirsty—as People Once Thought

The now-extinct bears were mostly vegetarians and measured about the same size as today's North American grizzlies

Marie Curie was the first individual to win two Nobel Prizes.

Building Used by Marie Curie Saved From Demolition

Cultural heritage supporters are hoping to see the facility listed as a protected site

One side of the device was used to tell the date of Easter Sunday.

This Device Might Be England's Oldest Dated Scientific Instrument

The 712-year-old artifact is a horary quadrant, a medieval tool used to tell time based on the position of the sun

Half a century on, Kohoutek may be due a little more respect. Though it disappointed the media and the public, it proved to be a bonanza for serious scientists.

The 'Comet of the Century' Failed to Impress, but It Wasn't Such a Disaster After All

Highly anticipated before its arrival in late 1973, Kohoutek became an interplanetary punchline. But astronomers may have gotten the last laugh

This 15th-century medical manuscript shows different colors of urine alongside the ailments they signify.

Modern Medicine Traces Its Scientific Roots to the Middle Ages

Contrary to popular belief, early medieval doctors relied on rational deduction to understand and treat disease

Mass Audubon's science coordinator Mark Faherty examines a horseshoe crab in Pleasant Bay, where he has conducted research on them for years.

New Synthetic Horseshoe Crab Blood Could Mean Pharma Won't Bleed the Species Dry

The “living fossils” have been vital for testing intravenous drugs, but a few large pharmaceutical companies are using a lab-made compound instead

Shooting stars travel across the sky during the Draconid meteor shower.

How to Watch the Draconid Meteor Shower This Weekend

Though it’s usually a smaller display, the Draconids have historically produced breathtaking outbursts of shooting stars known as "meteor storms"

A supermoon rises in Washington, D.C., on March 9, 2020.

How Rare Is the 'Super Blue Moon' Appearing in Skies Later This Week?

And why do they even call it a "blue moon" when it won't actually be that color?

A group poses in front of Michigan State University's first observatory, circa 1888.

Students Unearth Forgotten 142-Year-Old Observatory Buried on Michigan State's Campus

Archaeology students have been working at the site since workers happened upon it in May

The Hunterian is one of few places in the United Kingdom where the public can see specimens prepared specifically to show human anatomy.

See Tables Crafted From Human Tissue, a Toad With Eggs on Its Back and More at This London Museum

The newly reopened Hunterian Museum acknowledges the ethical quandaries posed by its collection of anatomical specimens

Rosalind Franklin's work with X-ray imaging played an important part in the discovery of DNA's structure.

What We're Still Learning About Rosalind Franklin’s Unheralded Brilliance

Using new historical evidence, two scientists argue the female chemist was more involved in discovering DNA's structure than she got credit for

A photo of Henrietta Lacks in the living room of her grandson, Ron Lacks

Henrietta Lacks' Virginia Hometown Will Build Statue in Her Honor, Replacing Robert E. Lee Monument

Lacks' unique cancer cells were taken without consent and used for medical breakthroughs

Marine biologist Mike Barnette and wreck diver Jimmy Gadomski explore a large segment of the Challenger Space Shuttle, which exploded in 1986. 

Divers Accidentally Find a Piece of the Challenger Space Shuttle

A documentary film crew stumbled across a section of the destroyed spacecraft that measures at least 15 by 15 feet

Darwin's signature on the note

Charles Darwin's Rare Autographed Manuscript Could Sell for $800,000

The English naturalist was responding to a magazine editor who had asked for a handwriting sample

Researchers used multispectral imaging to reveal the hidden text (which is traced in yellow above).

A Medieval Manuscript Has Revealed the Oldest Known Map of the Stars

Advanced imaging uncovered part of the Greek astronomer Hipparchus’ long-lost star catalog

Members of the Nobel Committee for Physics announce the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics winners. From left to right on the display: Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger. 

Breaking Down the Quantum Research That Earned Three Physicists the Nobel Prize

What they revealed could enable ultra-secure computing and new telescope technology

As of June 15, the World Health Organization had recorded a total of 2,103 confirmed monkeypox cases in 42 countries. Pictured: a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture

What You Need to Know About the History of Monkeypox

Mired in misconception, the poxvirus is endemic in certain African countries but was rarely reported in Europe and the U.S. until recently

Visitors looking at sculpture by Skellon Studio in “Cancer Revolution” at the Science Museum.

Exhibition Explores the Art and Science of Cancer—and the Hope of a Future Without It

The Science Museum in London explores the past and future of the disease, and the resilience of its survivors

The face of a genius.

Five Things to Know About French Enlightenment Genius Émilie du Châtelet

She was brilliant and unconventional, but her life had a tragic end

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