Skip to main content


What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?

What can teeth tell us about our prehistoric ancestors?

Our distant past is just that: the distant past. It’s this murky place that science is slowly filling in but the landscape still largely exists just on the periphery of our imagination, and it’s dominated by raw, somewhat violent natures.

July 16, 2014 — Krystal D'Costa

The Missing Link that Wasn’t

April Fools’ Day is not unique to Western cultures. People all over the world and all throughout history have celebrated the coming of Spring with festivals of deception and lightheartedness.

April 2, 2014 — Krystal D'Costa
How Networks Are Revolutionizing Scientific (and Maybe Human) Thought

How Networks Are Revolutionizing Scientific (and Maybe Human) Thought

Science and common sense are alike grounded in human experience. Yet these ways of thinking about things are often in conflict. Sometimes the simplicity of most commonsense explanations can make it hard to win people over to the complexity and uncertainties of most scientific arguments.

December 12, 2014 — John Edward Terrell, Termeh Shafie and Mark Golitko

Dead Crickets Cannot Sing at All: A Paleofantastical Review

“The first thing you have to do to study 4,000-year-old DNA is take off your clothes.” Marlene Zuk’s new book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live begins in classic science-writer style.

October 28, 2013 — Kate Clancy
What does it mean to be an introvert online?

What does it mean to be an introvert online?

Did you take public transportation today? And where did you sit? Did you take the seat on the end? What about your phone at work? Did it actually ring today?

March 27, 2014 — Krystal D'Costa

The Edge’s Annual Question: The Way We Produce and Advance Science

This year, I was invited to contribute to the Edge Foundation’s Annual Question. Other contributor include Helen Fisher, Irene Pepperberg, Alan Alda, Nina Jablonski, Jay Rosen, and, well 150 others: The question was, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?” My contribution: The Way We Produce And Advance Science Last year, I spearheaded a [...]

January 14, 2014 — Kate Clancy

Research Realities II: Another Door Open, Then Shut

(Click here for the introduction to the Research Realities series, and here for part I) Back when we were first scoping out locations for our integrated research and education project, my collaborator had mentioned that some colleagues she knew had good luck working with libraries, and that they were sometimes easier to work with than [...]

August 19, 2013 — Kate Clancy

Piltdown Man and the Dualist Contention

One of the most fascinating episodes in the history of palaeontology is that of Piltdown man, an alleged human ancestor discovered in 1908 at Piltdown in Sussex, England. Formally named Eoanthropus dawsoni in 1912, Piltdown man matched early 20th century expectations of what a human ancestor might be like. It combined a large brain with an ape-like jaw (therefore confirming ideas that the evolution of big brains led the way in hominin evolution), and it lived in Europe (confirming ideas that hominin evolution was a Eurasian event, the hominins of Africa and tropical Asia being divergent irrelevancies or side-branches). The African australopithecines had yet to be discovered, nor had scarcely any of the wealth of fossil African hominins we know of today.

October 3, 2015

The Obligation of Gifts

For those of you with Christmas trees, they probably look a little barren following the unwrapping of presents. What did you get for Christmas?

December 26, 2014 — Krystal D'Costa

See the World from a Different Perspective

Subscribe to Scientific American MIND