Politics and History

Frances Jensen is both a neuroscientist and a mother of two (former) teenagers. She talked with To the Best of Our Knowledge Executive Producer Steve Paulson about the positive “plasticity” of teenage brains as well as teens’ propensity for risk-taking.More

Angie Jiang goes to Washington

Have you ever tried to lobby a US Senator? How about when you were 17? Angie Jiang did. She’s a high school senior. She’s on the swim team. She loves Beyonce. And she’s an advisor to the UN.More

Teens walk out against gun violence on March 14 in Madison, Wis.

As we hear out the ambitions of today's teen activists, politicians and artists, what do they think adults need to do to help them change the world?More

Tyler Ruzich

Generation Z is arguably shaping up to be one of the most activist generations in recent memory. In Kansas, six teenagers running for governor. Tyler Ruzich is one of them — running as a Republican "for a new generation."More

Students testing their DNA

What's it like to discover that your own genetic ancestry is both black and white? At West Chester University in Pennsylvania, Anita Foeman leads the DNA Discussion Project, where students use DNA testing to learn about their mixed bloodlines.More

jefferson

For years it was rumored that Thomas Jefferson had a sexual relationship with Sally Hemings. Then legal historian Annette Gordon-Reed proved it. She tells the complicated story of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship.More

a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery.

Steve Paulson was surprised to discover that a son of Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings, is buried in a local cemetery. With the help of Erin Hoag of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, he searches for the grave of Eston Hemings Jefferson.More

Half brothers Robert Lafayette Gee (right) and Henderson Gee (left). Robert was Ruben Gee‘s first child to his white wife, Aurelia. Henderson was his second child to his slave, Venus. Henderson was born a slave.

Rev. Alex Gee is fascinated by geneology. So he took a DNA test and discovered one of his ancestors was a white slave owner. Then he went down to New Orleans to meet his white relatives — and that meeting sparked a slew of complicated emotions.More

Historical photo of the St. Louis Arch

Edward McPherson on The Legacy of the St. Louis Arch.More

Fighter jets

From the European Union to the United States, analysts have claimed that the Western world is seeing a resurgence of populism. Dutch philosopher Rob Riemen disagrees though, he says it's time to call the problem what it is: fascism.More

Pardeep Singh Kaleka and Arno Michaelis

Pardeep Singh Kaleka's father was murdered when a white supremacist attacked the Sikh temple that his father led. Remarkably, he and a former white supremacist met just two months after the massacre. Now, they work together.More

Adolph Hitler

If hate moved next door, would you recognize it? Edgar Feuchtwanger was a young Jewish boy living in Munich when Adolf Hitler moved into the building across the street. Edgar recalls the horror of watching Hitler's rise to power.More

Benito Mussolini, during the march on Rome, with some of the quadriumviri: from left Emilio De Bono, Italo Balbo and Cesare Maria De Vecchi.

A new museum of fascism is scheduled to open in Predappio, Italy—the birthplace of Benito Mussolini. The town is already a pilgrimage site for neo-Fascist groups. Journalist Ilaria Maria Sala says the Mussolini museum has sparked controversy.More

Prince

Chuck Klosterman thinks the Internet has ruined a lot of things, including death.More

ignored on the phone

For three decades, MIT professor Sherry Turkle's been looking at the ways we interact with machines. She believes our digital devices are taking a toll on our personal relationships.More

Robot boy

Alexander Weinstein’s “Children of the New World” is a collection of cautionary tales about extreme emotional attachment to software and silicon.  More

earth

Historian Iain McCalman’s Dangerous Idea? The Anthropocene — the idea that humans have fundamentally changed our global climate. It’s scary, but we’re also seeing people come together in unprecedented ways to solve planetary problems.More

Esteban Touma

Comedian Esteban Touma reflects on love and marriage, and reveals how squirrels explain the mysteries of evolution.More

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