The Pioneering Scientist Who Explained Contagious Disease
The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2023After decades of experiments in the early 19th century, Agostino Bassi showed that silkworms were being killed by a microorganism, setting the stage for modern germ theory.
Natural, Artificial, Ethical? How Synthetic Biology Is Overturning Old Categories
Coller Venture Review, 2023For a half century we’ve been telling ourselves a story about technology as a fall from grace, about artifice as the source of human suffering and environmental ruin – even as we consumed more and more of its products. The idealistic scientists and entrepreneurs building the new biology tell a different story, a story of life and renewal.
Gadgets and Gizmos That Inspired Adam Smith
Reason, July 2023Adam Smith appreciated the beauty and allure of intricate systems.
The Brilliance of Guo Pei
American Purpose, May 01, 2023Questions of appropriation and cultural legacy are explored in Chinese couturier Guo Pei’s challenging and extravagant dresses.
Notes on Progress: Artificial flavoring
Works in Progress, April 06, 2023"Artificial" didn't scare Americans in the 19th century. Why does it scare us now?
Aviators Make Biden an All-American Badass
Foreign Policy, March 24, 2023The sunglasses are a symbol of loyalty, persistence—and the U.S. president.
Synthetic Meat Will Change the Ethics of Eating
The Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2022Consumers will soon be able to dine on chicken and other animal proteins grown in a factory, upending the way we think about nature and technology
What Shopping Did for American Equality
The Wall Street Journal, December 08, 2022From five-and-dimes to suburban malls, the experience of browsing and buying has helped to define public life
‘Status and Culture’ Review: Making the Cut
The Wall Street Journal, October 07, 2022Review of Status and Culture: How Our Desire for Social Rank Creates Taste, Identity, Art, Fashion, and Constant Change by W. David Marx
Marc Andreessen’s Housing NIMBYism Is Losing Ground
Bloomberg Opinion, August 09, 2022The investor and his neighbors want to block multiunit construction in America’s most expensive town. But California’s reforms are gradually overriding such local opposition.