In July 1969, ninety-four percent of American televisions were tuned to coverage of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon. How did space exploration, once the purview of rocket scientists, reach a larger audience than My Three Sons? Why did a government program whose standard operating procedure had been secrecy turn its greatest achievement into a communal experience? In Marketing the Moon, David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek tell the story of one of the most successful marketing and public relations campaigns in history: the selling of the Apollo program. […Learn More]
How to stay in charge in a world populated by algorithms that beat us in chess, find us romantic partners, and tell us to “turn right in 500 yards.”
Doomsday prophets of technology predict that robots will take over the world, leaving humans behind in the dust. […Learn More]
How science is opening up the mysteries of the heart, revealing the poetry in motion within the machine.
Your heart is a miracle in motion, a marvel of construction unsurpassed by any human-made creation. It beats 100,000 times every day—if you were to live to 100, that would be more than 3 billion beats across your lifespan. […Learn More]
Introducing a 10-phase, 500-year vision for the future of space exploration, genetic engineering, and the human species—on Earth and on other planets.
As the only species aware that life on Earth has an expiration date, we have a moral duty to land on, to live on, and to extend life to other planets. […Learn More]
How Vera Rubin convinced the scientific community that dark matter might exist, persevering despite early dismissals of her work.
We now know that the universe is mostly dark, made up of particles and forces that are undetectable even by our most powerful telescopes. […Learn More]
How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China’s information technology successes today.
Chinese writing is character based, the one major world script that is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Through the years, the Chinese written language encountered presumed alphabetic universalism in the form of Morse Code, Braille, stenography, Linotype, punch cards, word processing, and other systems developed with the Latin alphabet in mind. […Learn More]
How we became so burdened by red tape and unnecessary paperwork, and why we must do better.
We’ve all had to fight our way through administrative sludge–filling out complicated online forms, mailing in paperwork, standing in line at the motor vehicle registry. This kind of red tape is a nuisance, but, as Cass Sunstein shows in Sludge, it can also also impair health, reduce growth, entrench poverty, and exacerbate inequality. Confronted by sludge, people just give up–and lose a promised outcome: a visa, a job, a permit, an educational opportunity, necessary medical help. In this lively and entertaining look at the terribleness of sludge, Sunstein explains what we can do to reduce it. […Learn More]
How sound leaves a fundamental imprint on who we are.
Making sense of sound is one of the hardest jobs we ask our brains to do. In Of Sound Mind, Nina Kraus examines the partnership of sound and brain, showing for the first time that the processing of sound drives many of the brain’s core functions. Our hearing is always on–we can’t close our ears the way we close our eyes–and yet we can ignore sounds that are unimportant. We don’t just hear; we engage with sounds. Kraus explores what goes on in our brains when we hear a word–or a chord, or a meow, or a screech. […Learn More]
Why has the flow of big, world-changing ideas slowed down? A provocative look at what happens next at the frontiers of human knowledge.
The history of humanity is the history of big ideas that expand our frontiers—from the wheel to space flight, cave painting to the massively multiplayer game, monotheistic religion to quantum theory. And yet for the past few decades, apart from a rush of new gadgets and the explosion of digital technology, world-changing ideas have been harder to come by. Since the 1970s, big ideas have happened incrementally—recycled, focused in narrow bands of innovation. […Learn More]
In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. Finalist for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Award in Science and Technology and selected as one of the Best Summer Science Books Of 2020 by Science Friday. […Learn More]