First Looks: Fall 2017

David Keith, Harvard University, discusses his article on geoengineering from the Spring 2017 issue.

What Does Innovation Today Tell Us about the US Economy Tomorrow?

Above all, that the nation needs to get a lot better at linking scientific advance to economically and socially valuable technologies.

Editor’s Journal

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows

Book Review: Managing Water Scarcity, or Scarcely Managing?

Water is for Fighting Over and Other Myths about Water in the West, by John Fleck (reviewed by Katharine L. Jacobs).

Real Numbers: Mixed Messages about Public Trust in Science

Beyond the Primordial Ooze

Conversations with “real” Americans and the supposed divide between science and religion.

The Best Panceas for Heartaches

How eighteenth and nineteenth century science and religion reinforced one another in coping with what was then the inescapable tragedy of childhood mortality.

“Shuddering Before the Beautiful”: Trains of Thought Across the Mormon Cosmos

As uncomfortable as uncertainty is, it begets a healthy humility that can inspire us to keep searching for answers.


Are cops on the science beat?; Publication blues; Power of partnerships; Returning from the brink; When good intentions backfire; Eyes on AI; Designing chestnuts.

Search History

Is Google search a useful tool for a true seeker?

Perspective: Navigating an Uncertain Future for US Roads

Book Review: A Silicon Valley Catechism

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future, by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (reviewed by Frank Pasquale).

Perspective: Character and Religion in Climate Engineering

Expanding the ethical discussion of marine cloud brightening.

Is Precision Medicine Possible?

Advances in our understanding of the genome suggest that for most public health challenges it may not be.

“This Essentially Meaningless Conflict”

An interview with Marilynne Robinson by Creative Nonfiction editor Lee Gutkind and Issues in Science and Technology editor Daniel Sarewitz.

Table of Contents for the Fall 2017 issue

Order the Fall 2017 Issue