Issue #56: May/June 2017

Features

June Eric-Udorie, 18.

June Eric-Udorie's Appetite for Fighting Injustice

At 18, Eric Udorie's written about gender rights-related topics for major publications including the Guardian, New Statesman, Fusion.

Anthony Lee Zhang, 24.

Anthony Lee Zhang's Stock of Human Knowledge

"Being an academic requires the courage to stand behind good ideas despite opposition," says Zhang, who is on our list of the top 30 thinkers under 30.

Thomas Tache, 26.

Thomas Tasche's Steady Inquisitiveness

Tasche's work directly challenges a lot of the reductionist narratives that swirl around politics and, by extension, the media that covers it.

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Alexis Toliver's Advocacy for the Voiceless

"I honestly think that it will take a person with autism to find the 'cure' to autism, so that the world understands that autism doesn't need to be cured," Toliver says.

A bra.

Revolutionary Objects: The Woman Behind the World's First Bra

Although inventing the bra was barely an adolescent pit stop on Mary Phelps Jacobs' glamorous trajectory, it did suggest what she would get up to next.

A chocolate chip cookie.

Revolutionary Objects: The Real Story Behind the Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ruth Graves Wakefield, the woman who invented the chocolate chip cookie, was something closer to the Martha Stewart of her day.

Peng Shi, 29.

Peng Shi's Human Approach to Data

If the world is a global marketplace, Shi's research tries to help make it more efficient and equitable by applying mathematics to assess and improve the way we make decisions.

Boyan Slat, 22.

Boyan Slat's Plan to Clean Earth's Oceans

When asked whether he feels people doubt him more because he's young, Slat says, "Yes, but I never felt youth to be a disadvantage."

Erin Schrode, 26.

Erin Schrode's Plan to Run for Congress

"We have a gaping hole, a desperate need for young women in government," says Schrode, who is on this year's list of the top 30 thinkers under 30.

Hannah Safford, 25.

Hannah Safford's Push for Environmentally Sustainable Policies

Safford is committed to applying her talents and work ethic to a noble and necessary goal: using policy to change the way we think about human existence.

Culture Pages

William Oldroyd receives the award for international movie for his movie Lady Macbeth on stage during the Award Night Ceremony during the 12th Zurich Film Festival.

PS Picks: The Buried Aggression in Lady Macbeth

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

An Ohio license plate.

Objects That Matter: Party Plates

Public support for criminal registries has grown despite inconsistent evidence that they reduce crime, which social scientists attribute to a human need to feel a sense of control over threats.

A screenshot from 'The Prison in Seven Landscapes.'

PS Picks: Exploring Mass Incarceration as a Societal Problem in 'The Prison in Twelve Landscape'

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

A user logging into Twitter on their smartphone.

PS Picks: Zeynep Tufekci's 'Twitter and Tear Gas'

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.

Islamophobia and Racism in America.

A Blueprint for Resisting Islamophobic Prejudice

Erik Love's new book is invaluable for its detailed chronicle of Muslim-American activism.

The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness.

A True Story of Pathological Friendliness

Jennifer Latson's debut illustrates a boy's coming-of-age, complicated by a genetic disorder that strips peoples' social inhibitions.

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

How the U.S. Government Segregated America

Richard Rothstein's magisterial new book tracks how the government segregated America—and how new policy, and new education, could save us.

Robin Tran.

Standing Up for Transgender Acceptance

In their California comedy show, couple Robin Tran and Cate Gary share their complex love story—and normalize comedy about gender transitions in the process.

Anita Kunz.

Artist Anita Kunz on Illustrating Social and Political Events

We spoke to Anita Kunz about what she recommends reading, watching, and listening to.

A scene from a performance organized by Jalada—a pan-African writers' collective—in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Ongoing Revolution to Unite African Literature

The Jalada literary collective has a radical mission: an ongoing translation effort to unite— and elevate—African literature.

A scene from the Storytelling Arena.

A Look Inside the Refugees' Theatre

As the population of displaced Syrians swells in Germany, one storytelling series aims to expedite integration through first-person narrative.

The Fix

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Inside the Mind of America's Favorite Gun Researcher

John Lott is a one-man pro-gun research machine whose work has been cited nearly 200 times by the National Rifle Association. The problem? Many of his peers have major misgivings about his methods.

Field Notes

Prisoners, many of whom claim to be juveniles, line up for dinner at Lira Prison, Poor birth records make it difficult for Ugandan prison officials to remove younger prisoners from adult facilities.

Field Notes: Dinner at a Prison in Lira, Uganda

Lira, Uganda: Prisoners, many of whom claim to be juveniles, line up for dinner at Lira Prison. Poor birth records make it difficult for Ugandan prison officials to remove younger prisoners from adult facilities.

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Field Notes: Watching Over the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Goseong, South Korea: A South Korean soldier looks over the DMZ from a guard position on top of Observation Post 717, on the edge of the North Korean border.

A view of the Delicate Arch sandstone rock formation at Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah.

Letter From Moab, Utah: Sharing a Sunset at Arches National Park

Delicate Arch is the most famous rock formation in Arches National Park—and, almost certainly, in the entire state of Utah.

An underground fire, which locals say first started in an abandoned mine here in 1916, still burns as workers tap the remaining supply of coal.

Field Notes: A Look at India's Coal Capital

Jharia, India: An underground fire, which locals say first started in an abandoned mine here in 1916, still burns as workers tap the remaining supply of coal.

Primer

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Overheard: The Conversation, in Context

"No one wants to have to explain to their children why Santa was put out of work."

An empty yellow bowl.

Superfoods Aren't Really All That Super

Why do we keep reaching for them as a quick health fix when the science says they're not so special?

Crying baby

Euphemisms Affect Parents' Attitudes Toward Corporal Punishment

Parents are more comfortable with corporal punishment when gentler language is used to describe it.

A woman wearing a virtual reality device.

How Virtual Reality Can Treat Chronic Pain

A reduction roughly equivalent to a dose of morphine.

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Power Poses Are Nonsense

Research shows that, while people feel more in control after a "power pose," there are no significant changes in their overall behavior.

An illustration of an eyeball inside an upturned glass.

There's a Name for That: Invisibility Cloak Illusion

Stuck inside our heads, we all know how much we're watching others, but fail to grasp just how much everyone else is watching us.