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Critical views of science in the news

What Are Science's Ugliest Experiments?

When I teach history of science at Stevens Institute of Technology, I devote plenty of time to science's glories, the kinds of achievements that my buddy George Johnson wrote about in The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments (Alfred A...

May 14, 2012 — John Horgan

Why You Should Choose Optimism

I've been bashing determinism and fatalism a lot lately, so I thought I'd write about an "ism" I like: optimism. For most of my career as a science journalist, I've been a pessimist, harping on all the goals that scientists will probably never attain...

April 17, 2012 — John Horgan

Christof Koch on Free Will, the Singularity and the Quest to Crack Consciousness

I met Christof Koch in 1994 at the first of series of big conferences on consciousness held in Tucson, Ariz. A professor at Caltech, Koch had helped popularize consciousness as a topic for serious scientific investigation—instead of windy philosophical supposition—through his collaboration with the great Francis Crick, who had already cracked the genetic code and now wanted to solve the riddle of mind as well...

April 2, 2012 — John Horgan

Are We Doomed to Wage Wars over Water?

Water, water, everywhere. But will we always have enough to drink? Wash away our waste? Grow crops and raise livestock? Some prominent progressives are warning that, as our population grows and our planet warms, water will become increasingly scarce, and humans will inevitably start fighting over it.War-correspondent-turned-antiwar-firebrand Chris Hedges expressed this idea during a radio interview with Brian Lehrer of WNYC radio, NPR's affiliate in New York City...

March 26, 2012 — John Horgan

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