A pressing of a plant in a book
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.
ABOVE: ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY LINDLEY COLLECTIONS
La Botaniste, 1810–1865
La Botaniste, 1810–1865

Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.

Elaborate annotations hidden in a copy of Sir James Edward Smith’s The English Flora hinted at the life of a mysterious woman botanist.

ABOVE: ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY LINDLEY COLLECTIONS
science history
In one of the only known photos of Abraham Lincoln taken on the day of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln can be seen seated, hatless, just below and to the right of the flag. Lincoln began developing symptoms of smallpox on the train home to Washington, DC.
Presidential Pox, 1863
Annie Melchor | Dec 1, 2021
Researchers continue to debate whether US President Abraham Lincoln was coming down with smallpox as he delivered his famous Gettysburg Address, and if he had been immunized.
Photograph of a waterfall
Falling Water, Rising Rocks, 1834
Catherine Offord | Oct 1, 2021
Intrigued by an optical illusion he experienced while traveling in Scotland, Robert Addams wrote what is now considered one of the definitive observational accounts of so-called motion aftereffects.
A black and white photo of two sets of flowers in test tubes, one of which is wilting
Posies, Poison, and Periods, Early 1920s
Annie Melchor | Sep 1, 2021
Centuries of folklore backed by scientists in the early 1900s have perpetuated the idea that menstruating women can exert dangerous forces.
Opinion: The Politics of Science and Racism
Sadye Paez, Erich D. Jarvis | Aug 18, 2020
Race has been used to segment humanity and, by extension, establish and enforce a hierarchy in science. Individual and institutional commitments to racial justice in the sciences must involve political activity.
The Child Hatchery, 1896
Catherine Offord | Mar 1, 2018
The incubator exhibitions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries publicized the care of premature babies.
Bathtub Bloodbath, 1793
Shawna Williams | Oct 1, 2017
French revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat took on many roles over the course of his life, including physician and scientist.
Discovery of the Malaria Parasite, 1880
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2017
Most didn’t believe French doctor Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran when he said he’d spotted the causative agent of the disease—and that it was an animal.
First Micrographs of Myxobacteria Forming Fruiting Bodies
Tracy Vence | Aug 1, 2016
By ditching traditional agar-based media, two biochemists captured iconic images of Myxococcus in 1982.
First Photo of Intact Giant Squid, 1874
Catherine Offord | Jul 1, 2016
Moses Harvey’s photograph brought the mysterious creature out of legend and into science.
The Rabies Vaccine Backstory
Catherine Offord | Jun 1, 2016
Louis Pasteur’s trepidation at injecting a child with the first rabies vaccine might have reflected his private knowledge of its lack of prior animal testing.
Oprah to Star in Henrietta Lacks Movie
Tanya Lewis | May 3, 2016
She will also be an executive producer on the HBO Films project, which is based on a 2010 book about the life of Henrietta Lacks.
Fighting Cancer with Infection, 1891
Catherine Offord | Apr 1, 2016
Now hailed as the father of immunotherapy, William Coley pioneered extraordinary methods to treat cancer.
Life After Sequencing
Eva Amsen | Feb 1, 2016
Fifteen years after publication of the human genome’s first draft sequence, what has become of the hundreds of researchers who worked on the project?
Science Historian Dies
Karen Zusi | Dec 9, 2015
Lisa Jardine, former chair of the U.K.’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, has passed away at age 71.
The Cyclopes of Idaho, 1950s
Karen Zusi | Dec 1, 2015
A rash of deformed lambs eventually led to the creation of a cancer-fighting agent.
Capsule Reviews
Bob Grant | Dec 1, 2015
Welcome to the Microbiome, The Paradox of Evolution, Newton's Apple, and Dawn of the Neuron.
A Case of Sexual Ambiguity, 1865
Amanda B. Keener | Aug 1, 2015
This year marks the 150th anniversary of an autopsy report describing the first known case of a sexual development disorder.
Half Mile Down, 1934
Jenny Rood | Jul 1, 2015
In his bathysphere, William Beebe plumbed the ocean to record-setting depths.
Orb-iters
The Scientist Staff | Jun 30, 2015
See how William Beebe and Otis Barton descended to the ocean's depths in an early submersible designed to allow access to the mysterious lifeforms inhabiting the deep sea.