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“Ecomodernists” Envision Utopia—but What about War?

For an in-class exercise, I like asking students: “What’s your utopia?” I tell them that utopias aren’t fashionable these days; “utopian” is generally employed in a derogatory sense, meaning naively optimistic

April 14, 2015 — John Horgan

Does Sebastian Junger/HBO Film “Last Patrol” Glorify War?

“To honor a fallen peer and adjust to life outside the war zones, four men linked by combat journey by foot from Washington, D.C., to Pennsylvania.” That is how HBO describes Sebastian Junger’s new documentary, The Last Patrol, which HBO is airing Monday night.

November 7, 2014 — John Horgan
First Sea Battle of World War I

First Sea Battle of World War I

Reported in Scientific American this Week in World War I: September 12, 1914 The Battle of Heligoland Bight took place in the North Sea on August 28, 1914.

September 12, 2014 — Dan Schlenoff

Steven Pinker, John Gray and the End of War

Fisticuffs have broken out in The Guardian between two intellectual big shots, philosopher John Gray and psychologist Steven Pinker. The fight, which features lots of rhetorical flourishes and high dudgeon, addresses a serious issue: Is humanity achieving moral progress?

April 1, 2015 — John Horgan
Thanksgiving and the Slanderous Myth of the Savage Savage

Thanksgiving and the Slanderous Myth of the Savage Savage

The approach of Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, has me brooding once again over slanderous scientific portrayals of Native Americans as bellicose brutes.* When I was in grade school, my classmates and I wore paper Indian headdresses and Pilgrim hats and reenacted the "first Thanksgiving," in which supposedly friendly Native Americans joined Pilgrims for a [...]

November 24, 2014 — John Horgan

Why Lasers Won’t Protect Airliners

Questions over the best way to protect civilian aircraft from surface-launched missiles have reemerged in light of the recent Malaysia Airlines tragedy over the Ukraine.

July 31, 2014 — Larry Greenemeier

Ukraine's Top Scientists Turn to Academic Unity in Call for Peace

The political unrest reverberating throughout the Ukraine has prompted its top scientists to send out a plea for peace. Since the crisis escalated last week, after Russia moved to establish control over the largely Russian speaking Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine, it has fueled fears that the conflict will boil over into military action between [...]

March 5, 2014 — Dina Fine Maron
Antwerp, 1914: New Technology, Civilian Targets

Antwerp, 1914: New Technology, Civilian Targets

Reported in Scientific American—This Week in World War I: September 19, 1914 The Belgian field army retreated into the fortified city of Antwerp only 16 days after the Germans had invaded.

September 26, 2014 — Dan Schlenoff

Could Deep-Brain Stimulation Fortify Soldiers' Minds?

As many as 20 percent of war veterans return from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, according to a 2008 report from the RAND Corporation.

September 4, 2014 — S. Matthew Liao

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