How Quarantine Has Turned Us Into Gardeners of Our Bodies’ Ancient Microbial Wilderness

As We Separate to Avoid a Virus, We Are Becoming Islands of Social Bacteria, Fungi, and Even Mites 

We may feel isolated now, in our homes, or apart in parks, or behind plexiglass shields in stores. But we are never alone. I’ve spent much of the last 20 years studying the many species with which we live: thousands of them, perhaps hundreds of thousands, including fungi, bacteria on our skin and in our guts, and animals ranging from the several species of Demodex mites that live in our pores to the spiders that ride with us from home to home.

In ordinary times, no person is an island. …

Did Moore’s Law Really Inspire the Computer Age? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Did Moore’s Law Really Inspire the Computer Age?

A Half Century Ago, Chemist Gordon Moore Made a Prediction—Or Was It a Challenge?—That Became a Narrative for Our Time

In the last half-century, and especially in the last decade, computers have given us the ability to act and interact in progressively faster and more frictionless ways. Consider the now-ubiquitous …

The Expansion of the Universe Raises Unnerving Questions | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Expansion of the Universe Raises Unnerving Questions

Princeton Cosmologist Jo Dunkley Explains Why We Are Always Updating Our Understanding of How We Got Here

Jo Dunkley is a leading researcher into the origins and evolution of the universe and professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. In her work, Dunkley uses the …

The Ornery, Freethinking Astrophysicist Who Helped Start the Space Race | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Ornery, Freethinking Astrophysicist Who Helped Start the Space Race

Swiss Émigré Fritz Zwicky Was Pioneer of American Science—Until His Star Fell

When the young physicist Fritz Zwicky arrived in America in 1925, the universe was a tidy place. Some educated people still believed the Sun was at the center of …

The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Poetic Clarity of That ‘Pale Blue Dot’

Through Photography, Science Has Given Humanity a Sense of Itself

When the Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977, it was equipped with a camera to chronicle its travels through the cosmos. One of the images that astronomer Carl …

Distrust of Science Is as American as Apple Pie | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Distrust of Science Is as American as Apple Pie

Our Belief in Equality and Passion for Politics Increase Our Suspicion of Expertise

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module and became the first humans to walk on the moon.

It was this …