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 …

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Will Holograms Help Us Grieve?

Ready or Not, Digital Afterlives Are Here to Stay

Long before Kim Kardashian West made headlines for being gifted a hologram of her deceased father for her 40th birthday, a panel session at South by Southwest Interactive, an annual …

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 …

How COVID-19 Will Reshape Us | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How COVID-19 Will Reshape Us

The Pandemic Will Wane. Ins and Outs of Daily Life Are Staying on Zoom

Those of us who have lived through the COVID-19 pandemic will almost certainly never forget it. Like my father-in-law who lived through the Depression and could never bear to use …

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 …

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 …