Do patents invent innovation?

They're a common index of technological creativity, but research finds they can impede rather than encourage it

Finland’s bold push to change the heart health of a nation

Beginning in its bleak borderlands, the country launched an official — and broadly influential — effort to improve food and lifestyle choices, using everything from cozy fireside chats and reality TV shows to laws and incentives.

Centuries of pondering — and squabbling about — trees

Do forests warm or cool the Earth? What’s their effect on global climate change? A comic narrated by polymath Benjamin Franklin describes the evolution of thought on this issue and what we still don’t know.

The anti-ads

Countermarketing succeeds by exposing the motives behind the advertising of unhealthy products. It worked for teen smoking — could it do the same for junk food?

In promoting health, when to tiptoe — and when to stomp?

Inform, incentivize, legislate: There’s a ladder of escalating approaches for changing citizens’ behavior — and nudges for every rung

Unpersuasive: Why arguing about climate change often doesn't work

In the US, where political parties have increasingly staked claims on one side of the issue or the other, beliefs may be more about belonging than facts

A toast to the Pope

Professor Charlie Bamforth is retiring. But he still fizzes with strong opinions on good beer, solid brewers and – Ptooey! – wine.

The science of better beer

Advances in the lab are adding variety, efficiency and precision to age-old brewing traditions

Do yourself a favor

Thinking of others enhances your well-being, while selfishness just adds to stress, studies show

Climate change can set the stage for violence

Worsened by global warming, drought and other environmental stressors play a role in fanning the flames of civil conflicts

Making sense of media bias

Just how partisan is the press, and should the public be worried?

Taxes, taxes — past, present and future

Here’s how the inevitable came to be, and where it may be headed

Can marriage make you sick?

In general, it promotes health. But it might not if your relationship is troubled or your partner is ill. Here's why, and what can be done.

Signs of how a language grows

In a village in Israel, the way the deaf communicate provides a rare look at a linguistic birth

Making the case against memories as evidence

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has shown that our recall can be woefully unreliable. Slowly but surely, the legal system — and more of her peers — are taking her findings into account.