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.
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
Driven by a desire to eliminate pain, some people have shockingly advocated taking the rest of nature with us.
Nov. 17, 2020 • ~8 min
extinction philosophy history-of-science interdisciplinarity suffering
The man who explained the greenhouse effect was accidentally killed by his wife.
July 31, 2020 • ~7 min
atmosphere history-of-science climate-science mountaineering greenhouse-effect
Online sleuthing and deductive reasoning identifies what appears to be the only existent portrait painted of the celebrated scientist during his lifetime.
July 27, 2020 • ~10 min
history-of-science scientists scientist cells royal-society portraiture mathematicians isaac-newton portrait-painting
Sexism pushed Rosalind Franklin toward the scientific sidelines during her short life, but her work still shines on her 100th birthday
Franklin was born a century ago, and her X-ray crystallography work crucially contributed to determining the structure of DNA.
July 20, 2020 • ~8 min
dna women-in-stem nobel-prize women-in-science history-of-science sexism james-watson x-ray-diffraction dna-structure rosalind-franklin francis-crick x-ray-crystallography
Neowise has an orbit of almost 6800 years, meaning that the last generation of people to see it would have lived during the 5th millennium BC.
July 16, 2020 • ~7 min
astronomy history-of-science space-exploration comets
A Hungarian obstetrician was the first to nail down the importance of handwashing to stop the spread of infectious disease.
April 14, 2020 • ~8 min
history-of-medicine maternal-mortality handwashing history-of-science hand-washing disease-control contagion cleanliness handwashing-and-coronavirus