Skip to content

    Featured Topic: Science & TechnologyAll Topics

    Napster: Culture of FREE

    In 1999, a file-sharing program created in a Boston dorm room sent shockwaves across the music industry and served notice that a major cultural shift was underway.

    The Promise of the Air Bag

    How did cars become “computers on wheels,” so automated that some are about to start driving themselves? The story begins forty-five years ago with a quest to make cars safer and the battle over the air bag.

    Major Malfunction: Lessons from Challenger

    On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts "slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God." America’s space program was never the same.

    How DNA Changed the World of Forensics

    Before DNA testing, prosecutors relied on less sophisticated forensic techniques, including microscopic hair analysis, to put criminals behind bars. But how reliable was hair analysis?

    Three Mile Island: Lessons from the Nuclear Dream

    More than three decades after the accident at Three Mile Island cast a shadow on the atomic dream, is America again ready to give nuclear energy a chance?

    When a Bridge Falls

    At the height of rush hour on August 1, 2007 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a bridge carrying eight lanes of I-35W over the Mississippi River suddenly collapsed, sending cars trucks plunging into the water below.

    Exxon Valdez: In the Wake of Disaster

    On a cold March night in 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Southern Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound and creating one of the worst oil spills in American history.

    The Day the Lights Went Out

    In 2003, a blackout crippled areas of the U.S. and Canada, leaving some 50 million people in the dark. Ten years later, we are still grappling with concerns over the vulnerability of our power grid.

    Dolly the Sheep

    In 1997, Scottish scientists announced they had cloned a sheep and named her Dolly, and sent waves of future shock around the world that continue to shape frontiers of science today.

    Test Tube Tomato

    In the 1990s, a bunch of gene jockeys brought the first genetically engineered food to market. The business crashed but biotech science has flourished far beyond the produce aisle.

    Biosphere 2: An American Space Odyssey

    With dreams of one day colonizing space, eight people sealed themselves inside a giant glass biosphere in the Arizona desert in 1991. By the time they emerged two years later, they had "suffocated, starved and went mad."

    Y2K: Much Ado About Nothing?

    The Y2K bug threatened to wipe out computers and disrupt modern society at the end of the 20th century. We all remember the doomsday hype, but what really happened?