Understanding the History of Fire Can Help Us Fight Today’s Biggest Blazes

Lessons From the Past and Warnings for the Future in 400 Million Years of Geological Record

Charcoal fragments are black, often small, and generally unremarkable. Most people would not realize it if they were to come across one. But over the past 40 years or so, Earth scientists have been revealing the story of fire through time by examining these little bits of carbon embedded in rocks throughout the world.

Understanding the history of wildfire is relatively new. That’s because fire science often falls between the cracks in established disciplines. As the well-known historian of modern fire Stephen Pyne has pointed out, while many universities have fire …

What America Can Learn From India’s Weeks-Long Elections | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What America Can Learn From India’s Weeks-Long Elections

Keep the Faith, Even If Results Are Slow to Come In—‘Democracy Delayed Is Not Democracy Denied’

Americans have long been accustomed to knowing the results of elections by the time they go to bed on Election Day. This year is forcing them to realize that’s not …

Repainting History in Technicolor | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Repainting History in Technicolor

Esiri Erheriene-Essi’s 'Familiar Strangers' Finds New Recognition in Photographs of the Mid-Century African Diaspora

The earliest colored photographs were fragile black-and-white daguerreotypes, hand-painted with a watercolor technique. The task was laborious, not to mention risky, because the plates were so easily damaged. But the …

In the Crisis of COVID, a Moment of Awakening for Women | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In the Crisis of COVID, a Moment of Awakening for Women

The Pandemic Has Pulled Back the Curtain on Gender Inequity in the U.S.—In Politics and Beyond

The image of California state Assemblymember Buffy Wicks holding her 4-week-old baby on the legislative floor earlier this month after her request to vote by proxy was denied loomed over …

The Mystical, Magical, Terrifying Supernatural Cats of Japan | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Mystical, Magical, Terrifying Supernatural Cats of Japan

From Shapeshifters to Demonic Corpse Eaters, Centuries of Catlore on the Prowl

Japan loves cats. A quick glance at anything related to Japanese pop culture will show you this: Hello Kitty. Cat cafes. Wearable electronic cat ears that respond to your emotional …