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Grim relics

Archaeology of the Nazi era is about digging for truth through science. Reinhard Bernbeck discusses the origins and ethics of this approach.

Looking for economic prosperity without growth

The only way for humanity to solve its environmental problems may be to abandon our quest for continual economic expansion. It’s time to study what a future of degrowth might look like, some researchers say.

The quest for autism’s causes, and what it reveals about all of us

The more researchers look, the more multifaceted the risk factors appear — and the more we learn about how the brain works and develops

A deeper understanding of the Grand Canyon

After 100 years as a national park and eons as a geological wonder, the American icon continues to reveal layers of its past and of the landscape ahead

The inheritance enigma

Retirement is a time for spending, not saving. And yet many people hold on to their wealth. Understanding why, and where that money ends up, is of increasing importance as the US population ages. 

A deliberate fix for democracy

Take a group of random citizens, give them the facts and let thoughtful discussion unfold

The power of brands, conscious and unconscious

Economists explore the complex forces that shape what ends up in your shopping cart and how that might change in the online marketplace 

The human factor in clean water

There are many cheap and effective ways to provide safe water to the world’s poor regions. But projects often fail due to inadequate planning, maintenance or persuasive power.

Genetics extends the long arm of the law

In an evolving branch of forensic science, genealogists help solve crimes, sometimes identifying suspects with the DNA of distant relatives they’ve never met. As cold cases yield, concerns about privacy issues persist.

What we talk about when we talk about food

From identity to national politics, gastronomical conversations can reflect who we are, and who we are not

Fighting crime with statistics

Taking advantage of “natural experiments,” researchers analyze data to look at what works

A “subprime” crisis in housing? Think again.

Economist Antoinette Schoar and colleagues found that middle-class homebuyers had more to do with 2008’s real estate crash than the less-wealthy consumers usually blamed for it.

The financial crisis flared in an era of invisible high risk. Has the system been reformed?

Economists tracking changes post-recession say safeguards should reduce the vast vulnerabilities seen 10 years ago. But putting out fires may be harder.

A run on the bank, 21st century style

Timeline: Major moments of the 2008 global financial crisis

She sees dead bodies

An environmental historian looks at how Americans treat corpses and what it means

Scientists look to new technologies to make food safer

From romaine to snack crackers, foodborne disease outbreaks have increasingly worried the public. Cold plasma and high-pressure systems might help reduce the risks.

The dating game: When food goes bad

New technologies to predict spoilage time could slash the massive waste between farm and fork

Dangers of ecotourism: Up close and infectious

Travelers’ desire for intimate encounters with wildlife may threaten the animals they love