A Letter From Sweden, Which Deems Flax Seeds More Dangerous Than the Pandemic

An Immigrant From America Fell for the ‘Sensible, Progressive Attitude’ and Caution of Her Adopted Country. Then COVID Hit

About a year ago, I hung upside down from my seatbelt in a small sedan. Thankfully, I was completely safe during the entire experience: It was part of the compulsory “risk” education associated with getting a driver’s license in Sweden. Together with a bunch of Swedish teenagers, I was learning how to escape from a rolled car. Later that day, we’d also slip and slide on a halkbana—literally a “slippery track”—to learn to maneuver a vehicle through various obstacles, and, importantly, to feel what happens when you can’t, and your …

The Bad News Behind California’s Good Times | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Bad News Behind California’s Good Times

Economic Busts Are Bad in the Golden State, but Booms Can Be Even Worse

Californians, being tougher than we look, have always found ways to survive our economic busts.

It’s the booms that bring us to our breaking point.

This essential truth is being missed in …

The Radical Paradox of Sweden’s Consensus Culture

Our Inclination to Agree Pushes Political and Social Policies to Extremes

In the 1930s, the American journalist Marquis Childs, after spending time in Sweden, wrote the bestselling book Sweden: The Middle Way. Childs described a country without major social conflicts between …

Why ‘Frankenstein’ Is a Great Science Policy Guide for the Future

Mary Shelley's 200-Year-Old Fable Explores the Tension Between Scientific Creativity and Social Responsibility

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley’s epic tale about the perils of scientific creation, turns 200 this year. Its famous creation story involves laudanum, and sexual tension, and an …

Think Big, California!

Lacking Ambitious Goals, the State Seems Content to Drift, Waste Money, and Keep Doing the Same Old Things

In today’s California, we set big, ambitious goals for improving energy efficiency, fighting climate change, and, well, not much else.

Governor Jerry Brown’s inaugural address this month was a case in …

The Windy City Says Bring It On, Immigration Reform

Chicago Can Process the Paperwork, Integrate the Newcomers, and Get Them Working

What might comprehensive immigration reform look like—around the country and in Chicago, a longtime city of immigrants—if Congress passes a bill that gives the 11 million undocumented people living in …