Can Innovation Really Solve Society’s Problems?

To Reckon With Today’s Greatest Challenges, We Need to Rethink Innovation Itself

Since World War II, the United States has famously funded research to advance all fields of science and innovation, fueling new disease-fighting drugs, increasing economic productivity, and sparking an information revolution through advances like the internet and GPS. Yet our society remains bedeviled by a host of problems—from healthcare disparities to income inequality and structural racism. Can discovery and invention really fix the entrenched inequities and deep divisions that ail America?

On Tuesday, former DARPA director Arati Prabhakar, who is the CEO and founder of the new nonprofit Actuate, visited …

Why Isn’t Lake Champlain ‘Great’?

Despite Its Geological Kinship With Superior, Erie, and Ontario, the Narrow Body of Water Between New York and Vermont Gets Mocked by Midwesterners

“The term ‘Great Lakes’ includes Lake Champlain.”

These seven words, quietly slipped into an appropriations bill by Vermont’s U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in 1998, briefly elevated the national status of a …

Why Scientific Discovery Thrives on ‘Creative Anarchy’

By Rewarding Bold Experiments, the Ecosystem of Funding and Research Could Produce More Breakthroughs

Science is one great success of our civilizations, from the erudition of the ancient Greeks and Arabs, to the practicality of the Renaissance and the Modern era. It is one …

Crowdsourcing in the Name of Science

Citizen Scientists Are Great for Data Collection and So Much More

The earthquake near Washington, D.C., five years ago in August 2011—the one that damaged the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral but had little other noticeable impact—caught me by surprise. …

How a Refugee from the Nazis Became the Father of Video Games

Ralph Baer's Life Is a Classic Tale of Scrappiness and Perseverance

It’s perhaps fitting that the man recognized as the father of the video game, that quintessential American invention, was a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, whose personal story converged with …