Francis Galton pioneered scientific advances in many fields – but also founded the racist pseudoscience of eugenics

Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to improve the species. Put into practice, Galton's concept proved discriminatory, damaging, even deadly.

Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University • conversation
Jan. 15, 2021 ~9 min

 statistics  charles-darwin  history-of-science  forensic-science  meteorology  prayer  fingerprints  eugenics  on-the-origin-of-species  francis-galton  forced-sterilization

Peat bogs: restoring them could slow climate change – and revive a forgotten world

The UK's marshes, bogs and fens provided the bare necessities of daily life for many centuries.

Ian D. Rotherham, Professor of Environmental Geography and Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change, Sheffield Hallam University • conversation
Jan. 11, 2021 ~8 min

climate-change carbon-cycle natural-climate-solutions peatlands peat-bog environmental-history marsh

Why David Attenborough cannot be replaced

Wildlife television as we know it was constructed around Attenborough. Take him away and the whole thing needs to be reinvented.

Jean-Baptiste Gouyon, Associate professor in Science Communication, UCL • conversation
Jan. 5, 2021 ~7 min

wildlife wildlife-conservation david-attenborough bbc natural-history wildlife-documentaries

In a time of social and environmental crisis, Aldo Leopold's call for a 'land ethic' is still relevant

Jan. 11 marks the birthday of conservationist Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), who called for thinking about land as a living community to protect, not a resource to exploit.

Curt D. Meine, Adjunct Associate Professor of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison • conversation
Jan. 5, 2021 ~9 min

conservation ethics ecology environmental-justice racism us-history land restoration-ecology environmental-movement wilderness

Ideally, we won’t remember the 2020 holidays

Best case scenario? Our collective memory of the 2020 holiday season will fade quickly. Here's why experts think that's likely.

Brandie Jefferson-WUSTL • futurity
Dec. 24, 2020 ~6 min

covid-19 history memory holidays featured society-and-culture

How the Lindbergh baby kidnapping changed media

A new book explores how the kidnapping of baby Charles Lindbergh, Jr., began a media revolution and became the "crime of the century."

Jarret Bencks-Brandeis • futurity
Dec. 24, 2020 ~7 min

history media journalism society-and-culture crimes

How British people weathered exceptionally cold winters

Food shortages, festivities and far-off fighting – Britain's coldest winters were among its most memorable.

Georgina Endfield, Professor of Environmental History, University of Liverpool • conversation
Dec. 23, 2020 ~7 min

winter snow cold-weather weather christmas environmental-history british-history

Kernowite: New mineral found on rock mined in Cornwall

The dark green mineral has been called kernowite as the rock comes from a mine in Cornwall.

Dec. 23, 2020 ~2 min

geology mining natural-history-museum st-day

Boudicca revolt: Essex dig reveals 'evidence of Roman reprisals'

Archaeologists link the destruction of a "high status" village to the uprising in Roman Britain.

Dec. 20, 2020 ~2 min

history archaeology braintree cressing

2020 Is Definitely 'One for the History Books'

VOA Learning English • voa
Dec. 19, 2020 ~4 min

history words-and-their-stories