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The Knowable Magazine podcast from Annual Reviews explores the limits to what’s knowable — and how thinking about big questions in science and technology evolves over time.

Jul 18, 2023

Quantum mechanics has always included mind-bending ideas. But the concept of quantum entanglement, famously termed “spooky at a distance” by Albert Einstein in a 1947 letter, seemed to challenge the limits of belief. It remained well on the edges of modern physics until John Stewart Bell’s 1964 paper suggesting a...

Jun 27, 2023

Sloppy by modern standards — and maybe even those back then — a 1955 article on the placebo effect by Harvard anesthesiologist Henry K. Beecher was nonetheless remarkable and influential. It paved the way for sounder drug trials and pushed scientists to better understand how we process pain. To explore its...

Jun 13, 2023

The fossil Archaeopteryx forever changed our understanding of dinosaurs and the origin of birds, but it took a century after its discovery and a one-page paper to shift scientific consensus.

Here’s the story of that landmark 1973 article by American paleontologist John Ostrom, and published in the journal...

May 30, 2023

A key report to President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 warned that humankind was “unwittingly conducting a vast geophysical experiment” through the burning of fossil fuels and a consequent buildup of “the invisible pollutant” — carbon dioxide — in the atmosphere. Here’s the story of what happened next to that...

Apr 26, 2022

Serendipitous discoveries led to drugs like Prozac and to new insights into the physical basis of this debilitating disorder. But scientists continue to search for deeper understandings and therapies that will bring relief to those who still struggle.