Nobel Laureates

Can Scientific Thinking Save the World?

May 2, 2024

A physicist, a philosopher and a psychologist walk into a classroom.

Although it sounds like a premise for a joke, this was actually the origin of a unique collaboration between Nobel Prize–winning physicist Saul Perlmutter, philosopher John Campbell and the psychologist Rob MacCoun. Spurred by what they saw as a perilously rising tide of irrationality, misinformation and sociopolitical polarization, they teamed up in 2011 to create a multidisciplinary course at the University of California, Berkeley, with the modest goal of teaching undergraduate students how to think—more...

Opinion: Science prepared us to witness the eclipse. Why do we feel estranged by it?

April 8, 2024

One hundred thousand years ago, you live in a small tribe preparing for the day’s hunt when suddenly a shadow crosses the sun, and all goes dark. For long terrifying minutes you ask yourselves: Is this the end? How can we survive? What will we eat? The sun returns, but the terror remains: What did we do to provoke the wrath of the gods?

The same location, 5,000 years ago, another tribe, another eclipse. But this time, an elder recalls a story she heard as a child about “a short day and a short night.” She announces that it has happened again, but that the sun will return. The tribe...