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 CRISPR May Be the Most Important Thing to Happen on the Planet in 4.5 Billion Years | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why CRISPR May Be the Most Important Thing to Happen on the Planet in 4.5 Billion Years

This Gene-Editing Technology Promises to Revolutionize Medicine, Spark Ethical Debate, and Might Even Bring Woolly Mammoths Back to Earth

Bringing extinct species back to life may sound like science fiction, but it’s a real thing—perhaps the most important to occur during the past 4.5 billion years. Called “de-extinction,” the …

Understanding the History of Fire Can Help Us Fight Today’s Biggest Blazes | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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, …

Can Earthlings Save Our Planet, Achieve World Peace—And Make a Home on the Moon? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Earthlings Save Our Planet, Achieve World Peace—And Make a Home on the Moon?

Space Exploration Won’t Create the Utopian Society of Star Trek… Unless We Solve Our Problems Here on Earth First

The title question of last night’s Zócalo/ASU Interplanetary Initiative event was “Can Space Exploration Save Humanity?” But it quickly became clear that an inversion was required. According to a panel …

Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020

The 11th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Honors the Best Writing on Community and Social Cohesion

Since 2011, Zócalo Public Square’s annual book prize has recognized the nonfiction book, published in the U.S., that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or …

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

Awarded Annually to the Poem that Best Evokes Connection to Place

Zócalo is delighted to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the 10th annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize. The deadline for entries will close on January 29, 2021.

Since …