What If We Used Play to Solve the World’s Biggest Problems?

From Foxes to Footballers, Animals Love Games. Let’s Use Competition to Everyone’s Advantage

Ours is a time of reduced civility, heightened political partisanship, and decreased faith in institutions. If we don’t figure out how to engage respectfully, we will all lose out. COVID will continue to advance, and overrun our hospitals as we wait months to receive a vaccine that some 35 percent of Americans have said they will avoid. The climate crisis will bring more and more polluted air, hurricanes, floods, and fires as we hop from one not-so-natural disaster to another. The political discord of the past four years—and past two …

Is It Possible to Be Just Terrified Enough This COVID Halloween? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is It Possible to Be Just Terrified Enough This COVID Halloween?

A Biologist of Animal Behavior Explains Why This Primordial Emotion Can Help Guide Us Through an Especially Spooky Season

It’s Halloween, the season when we go out and try to spook each other—at least in normal years. Indeed, fears of contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus have drastically impacted …

In Bad Times, Every Dog Is a ‘Very Good Dog’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Bad Times, Every Dog Is a ‘Very Good Dog’

As Dogs Help Us Weather the Emotions of a Global Pandemic, We Should Reconsider What We Owe Them

I have found myself looking at Bella with great envy these past few weeks. As I try to tamp down my panic and get work done, Bella naps in her …

The Real Heroes of the Overland Trail Were the Oxen | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Oxen Were the Unheralded Heroes of America’s Overland Trails

Over Long Journeys, Westward Migrants Came to Love the 'Noble' Animals They Depended on

Between 1840 and 1869, approximately 300,000 people crossed the United States on their way to settle in Oregon, find gold in California, or practice religion as they desired in …

Have You Ever Stared Into an Alpaca’s Soul?

Photographer Traer Scott Views Livestock as Individuals Rather Than Numbers

Have you ever felt the direct, penetrating gaze of an alpaca? Or admired the symmetry of a sheep’s fuzzy nose? Or rued the fact that you had never stroked a …

Why Groundhog Day Now Elevates Science Over Superstition

For a UCLA Biologist, Celebrating the Lowly Marmot Could Shed Light on Global Warming

I am a scientist who loves Groundhog Day, that least scientific of holidays. Every February, as Punxsutawney Phil shakes the dust off his coat, emerges from his burrow, glances …