Pandemic puts all eyes on public health

Covid-19 has exposed the weak spots of the US public health system — and that presents an opportunity, says an epidemiologist, for the nation to recognize the problems and act to fix them

Lola Butcher • knowable
Nov. 17, 2020 ~14 min

public-health coronavirus society qa health-disease reset special-report-reset

How the pandemic could globalize the economy even more — not less

Closed borders, trade conflicts and supply-chain problems raise the specter of nations turning inward and disconnecting from one another. But Princeton’s Harold James thinks Covid-19 may well push us all closer.

Eryn Brown • knowable
Nov. 5, 2020 ~17 min

coronavirus society qa reset special-report-reset

Fact or fantasy? Tales from the linguistic fringe

Paranormal claims and other pseudoscience often bedevil the study of language

Charles Q. Choi • knowable
Oct. 21, 2020 ~17 min

society qa

What legacy lies ahead for Black Lives Matter?

Historically, the road to reform has often begun with protesters taking to the streets. A sociologist and a political scientist take stock of whether today’s activism will lead to actual change.

Anil Ananthaswamy • knowable
Oct. 16, 2020 ~17 min

society qa

The pernicious contagion of misinformation

False statements — about Covid-19 and so much else — spread like a virus online. Scientists should study them like one.

Bob Holmes • knowable
Oct. 2, 2020 ~12 min

society qa

How we bury our dead during a pandemic

Funerals, burials and other ways of communally commemorating those who have died have always been part of human history. The need for social distancing has upended these psychologically important rituals and fostered creative alternatives.

Stephanie Parker • knowable
Sept. 24, 2020 ~17 min

coronavirus society qa

Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

Betsy Mason • knowable
Sept. 16, 2020 ~15 min

climate-change technology qa food-environment physical-world

Making and breaking connections in the brain

The links between nerve cells, called synapses, allow us to learn and adapt, and hold clues to conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and more

Amber Dance • knowable
Aug. 18, 2020 ~14 min

qa health-disease living-world the-mind

Matching meals to metabolism

Genes, microbes and other factors govern how each person’s body processes nutrients. Understanding the connections could help optimize diets — and health.

Jyoti Madhusoodanan • knowable
July 28, 2020 ~11 min

genetics public-health qa health-disease

Less toy, more workhorse: Drones get functional

Airborne autonomous vehicles could soon be dropping off your Amazon packages, delivering your food and even ensuring that the infrastructure around you is safe and sound

John Wenz • knowable
July 23, 2020 ~17 min

robotics technology qa

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