Maria Mitchell at 200: a pioneering astronomer who fought for women in science Richard Holmes celebrates Mitchell’s pedagogic fire and salty opinions on the bicentenary of her birth.
Ancient dreams of intelligent machines: 3,000 years of robots Stephen Cave and Kanta Dihal revisit the extraordinary history of cultural responses to automata.
Rotten meat and bottled formaldehyde: fighting for food safety Felicity Lawrence extols two chronicles on the ongoing battle to regulate the US food industry.
How asylums became the crucible of genetics David Dobbs lauds a dark history tracing the roots of heredity science to statistics on people with mental illness.
Blood, sweat and tears in biotech — the Theranos story Eric Topol extols a gripping account of the rise and fall of the US medical-testing company.
When suffragists kicked open the lab door Elizabeth Bruton lauds a book tracing how women in wartime science blazed a path to the vote and beyond.
Tom Lehrer at 90: a life of scientific satire Andrew Robinson celebrates the high notes in the mathematician’s inimitable musical oeuvre.
Where Blade Runner began: 50 years of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Ananyo Bhattacharya toasts Philip K. Dick’s prescient science-fiction classic.
Forgotten heroes of the Enigma story Polish codebreakers paved the way for Alan Turing to decrypt German messages in the Second World War. Joanne Baker commends a gripping tale.
Lessons from the Ebola front lines Nahid Bhadelia appraises an analysis of the fraught campaign to contain the 2013–16 crisis.