Maggie Koerth-Baker

Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at From August 2014-May 2015, she will be a Nieman-Berkman Fellow at Harvard University. You can follow Maggie's adventures in the Ivory Tower by subscribing to The Fellowship of Three Things newsletter.

Why mountain climbers lose weight

It's more than just a good workout. High-altitude climbers (paradoxically) don't eat as much as they do at sea level. Here's why.

Underwater view of polar bears swimming

Fat and fluffy, simultaneously stumbly-bumbly and graceful, polar bears are lovely to watch as they swim through frigid waters.

Radiation can be used to date wine

Probably every bottle of wine made since 1945 contains trace amounts of Cesium-137, from nuclear weapons fallout.

The ongoing hunt to pinpoint the cause of Sea Star Wasting Disease

This video, filmed at the Shannon Point Marine Center in Washington, shows you the contrast between normal, healthy sea stars and those suffering from wasting disease. (Note: Some parts have been sped up, so you can healthy see sea stars moving and diseased limbs falling off.)

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Great Moments in Wrong Science: "Rain Follows the Plow"


From the 19th century up through the Dust Bowl a wide cross-section of farmers, politicians, and scientists believed that the more intensively you farmed the Great Plains, the more rain would fall and farming conditions would improve.

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Why are pancreatic cancers so hard to kill?

Scientists thought they had an answer. But the treatment based on their hypothesis backfired, actually accelerating the growth of pancreatic tumors. New research explains why.

News audiences are liars; here's why

"An unidentified video editor operates an editing system during a large red-shirt rally on the Royal Plaza on Jan 29, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand." [Shutterstock]

"An unidentified video editor operates an editing system during a large red-shirt rally on the Royal Plaza on Jan 29, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand." [Shutterstock]

Al Jazeera America thought tens of millions of people were starved for serious, hard-hitting, longform journalism. Now the numbers don't seem to be panning out. At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson explores the psychology of why we ask for broccoli and then eat jelly beans.

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The closest thing to a Hoverboard that exists in real life

The MagSurf is a levitating skateboard based on the principles of superconductors. It was built by scientists and students in the Laboratoire Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques at Paris Diderot University.

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Your annual reminder that sharks aren't terribly dangerous

In fact, here are 19 things at the beach that are more dangerous than sharks.

A thoughtful discussion of "ironic racism" in the arts

From Archie Bunker to a recent production of the musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson", Twin Cities arts critic Rob Callahan discusses meta references to racism and how they can drift into being, themselves, examples of bigotry.

Giant rattlesnake is actually an optical illusion

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.57.08 AM

Fun with reptiles and forced perspective.

Video of giant squid dissection

At six hours, this may be more giant squid dissection than you actually wanted to watch, but even skipping around you'll learn and see cool things. The action starts about 11:00 in, and includes the dissection of two specimens plus explanations and discussion from scientists at Aukland University of Technology.

How live animal cams are changing our relationship with nature

When an eaglet started dying on a Minnesota eagle cam, the state Department of Natural Resources was bombarded with emotional (and sometimes threatening) demands to save it.

Integrating the great outdoors


Black and hispanic Americans are chronically underrepresented in their use of the National Park System. Geographer Carolyn Finney is trying to change that.

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Starbucks is not actually funding an employee scholarship

Instead, it's taking credit for employee access to a state-school scholarship and federal grants, i.e. public money.