Diehard fans of space exploration, rejoice! That pseudonymous foul-mouthed mastermind, exurb1a, who gave us the universe in just four minutes, is back with an irreverent video tackling the colorful history of rocket science.
Never assume that Leonardo Da Vinci’s doodles are meaningless. That, at least, is the takeaway of a new study out of the University of Cambridge, which shows that a page of Leonardo’s scribbled notes from 1493—previously dismissed as “irrelevant” by art historians—is actually the first written demonstration of the…
More than a thousand years before the first telescopes, Babylonian astronomers tracked the motion of planets across the night sky using simple arithmetic. But a newly translated text reveals that these ancient stargazers also used a far more advanced method, one that foreshadows the development of calculus over a…
The history of inoculation may sound a little dry, but it’s really an epic tale of human trafficking, semi-illicit experimentation, and high explosives. It’s a globe-hopping story that stars harem girls, noblewomen, prisoners, princesses, slaves, and even a witch hunter.
One of the most exclusive clubs in Great Britain is not full of hereditary peers and socialites, but instead counts former pilots and servicemen as its chief members. It’s called the Guinea Pig Club and membership dues are steep.
On the latest episode of Manhattan, the physicists assigned to developing the gun model design for the atomic bomb hit a major obstacle that threatens to sink the gun model for good. It’s a dilemma ripped straight from the history books, along with the eventual solution.
Science fans love to nerd-gas when it comes to popular culture. Witness the countless recent articles analyzing the science versus the storytelling of The Martian. That tension between accuracy and artistic license is not unique to modern society. It’s been present throughout history, including depictions of the…
European languages often use the same word for “story” and “history,” but many English speakers regard these words as antonyms. But how different are they really? At The Last Word on Nothing, Ann Finkbeiner asked some practicing PhD historians for their opinions.
In the 1940s, a young American doctor went to Guatemala to do medical experiments. He was funded by the venerable U.S. National Institutes of Health, but he did not make anyone healthy. Instead, he deliberately exposed 1,300 people to sexually transmitted diseases.
In the 1970s, two inhuman creatures—one hairy and tall, another with orange eyes—were spotted in New England. The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, blamed these monsters not on unreliable testimonies, but recombinant DNA technology, then a new and promising laboratory technique.
The history of science has its share of biological frauds, cases where people fabricated an imaginary organism and passed it off as real, or lied about an organism's behavior. Every now and then, however, a creature that is suspected of being a hoax turns out to be real.
Bonhams auction house is gearing up for a big "History of Science" sale on October 22. Among the many intriguing lots is a slab of unique glass used during one of the darkest scientific pursuits we've ever embarked upon: The Manhattan Project. But don't worry. It's not radioactive.
When she was a design student, Khyati Trehan embarked on an ambitious project to highlight history's 26 most influential inventors with a unique alphabet. Remarkably, each letter of the special typeface is drawn with a world-changing invention while also name-checking the inventor. The letter "E," for instance, is…
Apparently It's Okay To Be Smart thinks it's okay to be sexist. The science-themed YouTube show is taking a ton of flak after releasing a video portraying Albert Einstein as a lecherous old man who can't keep his hands off Marie Curie during Thanksgiving dinner.
He’s been dead for nearly 70 years, but Sigmund Freud’s provocative theories are still a huge part of psychology, neuroscience, and culture — this despite the fact that many of his ideas were mindboggingly, catastrophically wrong. Here’s why Freud just won’t go away.
Rabies spread by bites of infected dogs has been deeply feared since antiquity. But the virus also gave some people a rather nasty idea: Why not use it as a weapon?
Do you want your share of scientific immortality? You can devote your life to mastering your field, examining the mysteries of the universe, and then finally arriving at one great discovery...but according to Stigler's Law, you won't get the credit.
By the 1700s, there could no longer be any doubt. Earth was just one of many worlds orbiting the Sun, which forced scientists and theologians alike to ponder a tricky question. Would God really have bothered to create empty worlds?
This image of a tartan ribbon is the first-ever permanent color photograph, and it was taken 150 years ago yesterday by the legendary scientist James Clerk Maxwell. So just how did he create colors that would last for over a century and a half?
Over two thousand years ago, the Greeks discovered the fossilized thigh bone of a giant mammal that had roamed their country a million years ago. This bone may have helped inspire Greek legends of strange and giant creatures.