Scientists

James Lovelock sits with one of his early inventions, a Gas Chromatography device that measures molecules in the atmosphere.

Remembering James Lovelock, Whose ‘Gaia Theory’ Shaped Our Understanding of Global Warming

The British scientist and inventor who said Earth is a self-regulating system died earlier this summer on his 103rd birthday

The ultrasound sticker

Innovation for Good

This Wearable Ultrasound Sticker Can Continuously Image Organs for 48 Hours

Developed by engineers at MIT, the new technology is about the size of a postage stamp

Scientists want to open a dialogue with intelligent extraterrestrial beings in the Milky Way.

Art Meets Science

Why NASA Scientists Want to Send Nudes to Space

The naked truth: It’s a plan to make contact with intelligent life forms in the Milky Way

The life-size exhibit presents an inclusive vision of women excelling in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Smithsonian Honors Female Scientists With 120 Bright Orange Statues

The 3-D–printed figures will be displayed on the National Mall in celebration of Women's History Month

Robert Leverett walks through the old-growth forests in Mohawk Trail State Forest.

Old, Primeval Forests May Be a Powerful Tool to Fight Climate Change

Ecologists thought these trees had long been torn down in New England. Then Bob Leverett proved them wrong

The remarkable Hudsonian godwit.

Alaska

This Wonder Bird Flies Thousands of Miles, Non-Stop, as Part of an Epic Migration

The more scientists learn about the Hudsonian godwit, the more they’re amazed—and worried

The fact that Osgood’s collection survives intact—or at all—is notable and perhaps inseparable from her lifelong friendship with a famous writer.

Women Who Shaped History

In 19th-Century New England, This Amateur Geologist Created Her Own Cabinet of Curiosities

A friend of Henry David Thoreau, Ellen Sewall Osgood's pursuit of her scientific passion illuminates the limits and possibilities placed on the era's women

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How Science Conquered Diphtheria, the Plague Among Children

It was highly contagious, lethal and mysterious. Then medical experts developed treatments and vaccines, and the affliction disappeared—but not entirely

The National Weather Service Began as a Crowdsourcing Experiment

Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry used an army of volunteers in what would eventually become the nation's weather forecasting operation

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

Jacques-Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836), 1788

Art Meets Science

Iconic Portrait of French Chemist and His Wife Once Looked Entirely Different

Jacques-Louis David's 1789 painting originally depicted Antoine and Marie Anne Lavoisier as wealthy elites, not modern scientists

Presumed self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1512, red chalk on paper

Art Meets Science

Historians Identify 14 Living Relatives of Leonardo da Vinci

An ongoing effort to trace the artist's male lineage may help researchers sequence his genome

Recent research has shown that most scientific papers on coral biodiversity are led by people in high-income countries with few coral reefs.

The Pandemic Showed What Can Be Done Without Parachute Science

With international scientists barred from traveling, local scientists in the Pacific islands are taking the chance to lead.

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Alaska

A Journey to the Northernmost Tree in Alaska

Explorer Roman Dial leads a team of young scientists on a mission to document a rapidly changing landscape

Candy-size molecular models, about the diameter of Nerds candy, can help students with blindness to learn chemistry.

Innovation for Good

Gummy Candy-Like Models Can Help Students With Blindness Study Chemistry

Tiny shapes made from gelatin and resin may empower children to learn science

A statue of Benjamin Bannecker on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, as seen in 2020

History of Now

Meet Benjamin Banneker, the Black Scientist Who Documented Brood X Cicadas in the Late 1700s

A prominent intellectual and naturalist, the Maryland native wrote extensively on natural phenomena and anti-slavery causes

Pope’s pit viper, a venomous species that lives across Southeast Asia. Someone who is allergic to one type of snake is likely allergic to many types because their venoms have a similar composition.

What Happens When Scientists Become Allergic to Their Research

Researchers spend long periods of time around the organisms they study, and sometimes that exposure has unintended effects

An artist's rendering of the five-planet system that orbits star HD 108236, or TOI-1233. In the foreground is a hot, rocky planet that resembles Earth.

Balancing Homework and A.P. Classes, These High Schoolers Discovered Four Exoplanets

Thanks to a Harvard-Smithsonian mentoring program, high school students Kartik Pinglé and Jasmine Wright helped discover new worlds

A female macaque relaxes at Jigokudani. The Japanese word means “hell’s valley,” after the volcanic activity that heats the springs.

What Japan's Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture

Scientists have been studying the primates at some of the nation's hot springs, and what they have learned about evolution is astonishing

An RN administers the Covid-19 vaccine to a nurse at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2020

From the rapid development of vaccines for Covid-19 to the stunning collection of an asteroid sample, these were the biggest science moments of the year

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