How Did Politics and Pop Culture Become One? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Did Politics and Pop Culture Become One?

In 1974, American politics and pop culture intersected as never before. Norman Lear’s TV shows considered the depths of racism as Tom Bradley completed his first year in office as L.A.’s first Black mayor. Musicians like Linda Rondstadt and politicians like Jerry Brown incorporated counterculture notes into mainstream performances. And, as Watergate consumed the final days of the Nixon presidency, …

Do Inventors Bear Responsibility for the Effects of Their Inventions? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Do Inventors Bear Responsibility for the Effects of Their Inventions?

Every year scientists who have made great inventions receive Nobel Prizes recognizing their “benefit to humankind.” Yet for all the profound ways scientific progress has impacted our lives, many inventions have affected the world in ways that their creators did not imagine. Some innovations, created for peaceful purposes, have been used in war; others have had unintended environmental or health …

How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do Our Cities Prepare for the Post-Apocalypse?

It’s too late to prevent the apocalypse. Because it’s already here. A virus spreads globally, creating a pandemic, as yet uncontrolled. Climate change accelerates, and hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, and floods grow deadlier. Nuclear weapons and disruptive technologies proliferate, and economic dislocation and record mass migrations destabilize cities. Is it reasonable to expect urban centers, which are particularly threatened by …

Does Power Dressing Change the Power of Politics? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Does Power Dressing Have the Power to Change Politics?

A new, bold generation of women leaders is ascending in America. They haven’t entirely ditched the pantsuit, but they have embraced eye-catching colors, up-and-coming designers, and statement-making clothes and accessories. Which means these women have also opened themselves up to the risks—and rewards—inherent in such choices. This past election cycle had no shortage of iconic fashion moments, from Vice President …

What Does ‘Food Security’ Really Mean? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Does ‘Food Security’ Really Mean?

Global security depends on everyone having enough food. Scientist Molly Jahn started her career inventing squashes and melons. But that work led her to wonder and worry about the security of our global food supply in the face of changing climate, growing population, and new forms of war. What does “food security” really mean in the 21st century? Why hasn’t …

Can We All Become Conservationists? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can We All Become Conservationists?

Over the last 500 years, 755 animal species and 123 plant species have gone extinct. One species can take primary responsibility for this mass annihilation: homo sapiens. From hunting and fishing to factories and farming, humans (with the assistance of diseases and other natural disasters) have managed to decimate large swaths of the planet. But beginning in the late 18th …