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Be a Better Person: Take a Walk in the Park

New research from France finds strangers are more helpful if they’ve just strolled through a natural environment.



Feeling Impulsive? Head for the Forest

New research finds yet another benefit of viewing images of the natural world.

Our Best Friends


The Shakespeare Fanatic Who Introduced All of the Bard’s Birds to America

Over 100 years ago, Eugene Schieffelin set out to introduce every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays to America. Today, one of those birds is causing irreparable crop damage.

Quick Studies


How Bee Waggle Dances Could Inform Environmental Policy

To survey for pollinator foraging areas, researchers could tramp around and record what they find. Or a hive of bees could do the legwork for them.



‘You Must Have the Courage of Your Convictions': A Conversation With Jane Goodall

As Jane Goodall turns 80, Henry Nicholls talks to her about her remarkable career studying chimpanzee behavior, her animal welfare activism, and accusations of plagiarism in her latest book.

Quick Studies


The Mystery of Human Touch

Scientists are learning more about how we process feelings of gentle touch. New discoveries published Sunday could help restore fading sensations—and ease painful hypersensitivity.

Quick Studies

natural history1

Natural History Isn’t Dead–It Just Crawled Into a Microscope

Natural history collections are consolidating. Lessons are being dropped from biology courses. But amid the apparent carnage, microbiology is rising.

Opting Out


Opting Out: Papa Pilgrim and the Lure of Off-Grid Wilderness Living

As part of our week-long series on people who opt out of society, Eva Holland spoke with Tom Kizzia about his new book on the 17-person family that settled down in the ghost town of McCarthy, Alaska.

X and Y


The Social Construction of Sex

Many of us probably get our core gender identities as much from our biological origins as we do from our gender educations.

Go Outside


What’s Wild? The Battle for Nature in the 21st Century

It’s conservationist against conservationist as those that care most about biodiversity and wilderness argue over the best way to manage and protect what little we have left.



Why So Many Flood Maps Are Still Out of Date

An interview with professor David Maidment on what makes today’s maps 10 times more accurate than the ones much of the country is still stuck with.



Is Our Disconnect From Nature a Disorder?

It’s not in the DSM, but Richard Louv argues that being divorced from nature is a sort of disorder. More and more research backs him up.


Children’s Books Increasingly Ignore Natural World

A survey of award-winning children’s picture books from 1938 to 2008 suggests our increasing estrangement from the natural environment.


Long Slog for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Efforts to create a suitable habitat for a striking bird that may or may not be extinct continue a half decade after its reported but uncorroborated resurrection.


Teaching Kids to Love Nature (and Buy Less Stuff)

A new book, “The Failure of Environmental Education,” says schools are failing to teach kids how to save the planet.


New Studies Help Boy Scouts ‘Be Prepared’

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful — and the subject of much research after a hundred years in existence.


Reconnecting Children and Nature

It may not be recognized by the AMA, but nature deficit disorder is raising Cain with children in the industrialized world — and it can be fought.


CSI: Wildlife — Solving Mysterious Animal Deaths

Carol Meteyer solves cases of mysterious wildlife death using advanced forensic skills to help prosecute people who kill animals in violation of federal law.


T.C. Boyle Interview: Nature and the Novelist

Miller-McCune Q&A: In “When the Killing’s Done,” novelist T.C. Boyle once again examines humankind’s conflicted attitudes toward the natural world.


Ray Allen Scores in the Nature-Nurture Debate

We can learn from Ray Allen, Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, even if we can never hope to beat them on the court.


Thoreau Was Right: Nature Hones the Mind

Studies show nature restores our spirits, improves our thinking, keeps us healthier and probably even saner.


Bald Eagles Will Eat Almost Anything

The top predator on California’s northern Channel Islands might start dining on recovering foxes and seabirds, scientists warn.


Save a Jaguar. Treat Your Cows Well.

Conservationists hope to save the Jaguar, the Western Hemisphere’s biggest cat, by improving cattle management in Brazil’s biodiverse Pantanal.


Planetary Boundaries? Go Ask the Romans

Scientists propose guardrails for how far mankind can push the planet tomorrow, while others examine how far collapsed civilizations pushed it yesterday.


Gecko Feet and Adhesives

Scientists are adapting the gecko’s ‘sticky feet’ to create bonding materials for sporting equipment and robots.

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Don’t Text and Drive—Especially If You’re Old

A new study shows that texting while driving becomes even more dangerous with age.

Apparently You Can Bring Your Religion to Work

New research says offices that encourage talk of religion actually make for happier workplaces.

Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

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