Science & Technology

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Of Good Horses and Bad Science

Of Good Horses and Bad Science

STEVE JONES, a former geneticist at the Galton Laboratory (University College London) is one of the foremost popular science writers and presenters in Great Britain. In his new book, The Serpent’s P...

Fooled by Climate Change

Fooled by Climate Change

WHEN WILLIE SOON testified before Congress in 2003 as an expert witness on the issue of man-made climate change, it was no surprise to anyone listening that he would treat the matter as an unsettled q...

Faking Galileo

Faking Galileo

The following is a feature article from the newly released LARB Quarterly Journal: Spring 2014 edition. To pick up your copy of the Journal, become a member of the Los Angeles Review of Books at ...

OkCupid’s XOXO for Big Surveillance

OkCupid’s XOXO for Big Surveillance

CHRISTIAN RUDDER is a good writer — so good, in fact, it’s easy for readers of Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) to be smitten by his engaging and funny stories. These stori...

Muttnik: Canine Rocketeers in the USSR

Muttnik: Canine Rocketeers in the USSR

THE MISSILE HURTLED to its mark, a wilderness somewhere between the Moon and Moscow. A minute earlier, it had engulfed the Baikonur Cosmodrome in a kerosene inferno. Now the awestruck apparatchiks, th...

Evolution Between the Sofa Cushions

Evolution Between the Sofa Cushions

IMAGINE an insecticide-soaked mattress crawling with bedbugs. You now have a metaphor for the future of our relationship to the living world. In the second half of the 20th century, synthetic pesticid...

On Risk and Personal Belief

On Risk and Personal Belief

Pestilence is in fact very common, but we find it hard to believe in a pestilence when it descends upon us. There have been as many plagues in the world as there have been wars, yet plagues and wars a...

Different Voices

Different Voices

SOMETIMES THE WORLD reveals itself to us in unexpected ways. While I don't consider reading fiction a particularly practical habit, novels in translation often reaffirmed to me just how little I know ...

Cluster-struck

Cluster-struck

CHARLES DARWIN is more usually cited for his scientific discoveries than his moral insights. In the closing pages of his travelogue The Voyage of the Beagle however, he condemns the practice of slav...

The Multiverse in a Flat Circle

The Multiverse in a Flat Circle

I LEARNED about the possibility of the multiverse the same way lots of people did: from William Shatner. It happened well before I was born, in October 1967. Captain Kirk was in trouble.  He and his...

A Spoonful of Soil

A Spoonful of Soil

ONE BRIGHT MORNING last July, on a small farm not far from the celebrated coast of Downeast Maine, I was bent over a whiny, whirring cement mixer the size of a small bear. The farmer, Amanda, instruct...