How Teddy Roosevelt Won the Nobel Peace Prize

In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. Roosevelt was the first of four American Presidents to win the Prize.

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Newspaper illustration celebrating the Peace Treaty

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Trofim Lysenko and Soviet Science

During the reign of Joseph Stalin, Soviet science was dominated by Trofim Lysenko, who rejected modern science and replaced it with a mishmash of pseudoscience and ideology. His thirty-year reign led to the imprisonment or death of hundreds of scientists and illustrated the dangers of placing “science” under ideological control–but also demonstrated that, in the end, real science simply cannot be repressed.

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Trofim Lysenko makes a speech, with Joseph Stalin looking on

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How “Traditional Chinese Medicine” Is Pushing Species to Extinction

Science shows that most of today’s “traditional Chinese medicine” is simple quackery. But another consequence of the global “traditional medicine” industry that has not been as widely discussed is the enormous destructive effect it has had on some of the most endangered species on the planet.

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White Rhino, in South Africa’s Kruger National Park

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Written in Bone: The Banded Iron Formations

One of the most important events in the history of life on Earth was the appearance of an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Initially, this event was a disaster–free oxygen was a deadly poison and led to a massive die-off. But for one group of single-celled organisms, oxygen opened the door to a pathway that led to life as we know it, and eventually to us.

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A rock from the Banded Iron Formations, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

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