Essay

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  • Image-making, research and visual technologies have shaped each other over the past century and a half, argues Geoffrey Belknap, marking Nature’s anniversary.

    • Geoffrey Belknap
    Essay
  • The Western public's misapprehension that genius in science is always male and caucasian is partly a legacy of Victorian politics, says Christine MacLeod.

    • Christine MacLeod
    Essay
  • Venture funding is declining quickly and is unlikely to bounce back. But less money means lower expectations — good news for smaller science start-ups, says John Browning.

    • John Browning
    Essay
  • Giovanni Bignami reflects on the people who persuaded him that we must send humans beyond Earth's orbit to inspire public and political support for science.

    • Giovanni Bignami
    Essay
  • We must look for mental commonalities between humans and other animals to understand the minds of either, says Frans B. M. de Waal, rebutting a recent claim to the contrary.

    • Frans B. M. de Waal
    Essay
  • As research increases in Arab countries, the media is stepping up to report on it. In the third of three essays, Nadia El-Awady says the local journalism has much room for improvement.

    • Nadia El-Awady
    Essay
  • In the first of three essays, Toby Murcott argues that the process of science needs to be opened up if journalists are to provide proper critique.

    • Toby Murcott
    Essay
  • In the second of three essays, Boyce Rensberger tracks the progression of scientific correspondents from cheerleaders to watchdogs.

    • Boyce Rensberger
    Essay
  • Fossil finds of early humans in southeast Asia may actually be the remains of an unknown ape. Russell Ciochon says that many palaeoanthropologists — including himself — have been mistaken.

    • Russell L. Ciochon
    Essay
  • As letters and diaries give way to e-mails and laptops, fresh challenges and opportunities have emerged for archivists. Jeremy Leighton John explores the digital wilderness for the British Library.

    • Jeremy Leighton John
    Essay
  • The earliest microscopes shed light on a once-invisible world. But, Patricia Fara explains, microscopists were uncertain about how well the images reflected reality — just as they are today.

    • Patricia Fara
    Essay
  • Patients and politicians anxiously await and increasingly demand a 'cure' for cancer. But trying to control the disease may prove a better plan than striving to cure it, says Robert A. Gatenby.

    • Robert A. Gatenby
    Essay
  • As bodies piled up, the United States' response to the 'Spanish flu' was to tell the public that there was no cause for alarm. The authority figures who glossed over the truth lost their credibility, says John M. Barry.

    • John M. Barry
    Essay