Book Review: When Scientists Break Bad

From ice-pick lobotomies to gruesome pirate raids, in “The Icepick Surgeon,” Sam Kean catalogues the long trail of amoral scientists, and their justifications. Through his comprehensive and complex portraits of these scientists, Kean excels at conveying their deceptively slow slide into corruption.

Editorial Mission
Undark Editorial Mission
We illuminate the complicated and fractious places where science collides with politics, economics, and culture, and where differing world views compete for resources and influence. Learn more here.
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Abstracts: Olympics, Blue Origin, and More

ICYMI Highlights

Abstracts: Delta Blues, Heat Domes, and More

Researchers have long expected that new variants of the coronavirus would gradually get better at evading vaccines. The bigger question, though, is what risk, exactly, breakthrough infections actually pose. But lingering scientific uncertainties have so far left clear guidance elusive.

Book Review: Medicinal Animals in Modern China

In “Mao’s Bestiary,” Liz P.Y. Chee explores the use of wild animals in traditional Chinese medicine, which is more closely linked to politics and profit than to ancient culture. Rather, Chee shows that the industry existing today was purposefully developed, expanded, and promoted over the last century.

The Podcast

Our podcast is a monthly audio exploration of science and society.

All Episodes
Podcast: How to Study Radicalized Brains
Podcast: Lessons From Portugal’s Drug Policies
Podcast: ‘Mainstreaming’ Psychedelic Drugs