Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

Edward Tenner

Edward Tenner is a historian of technology and culture, and an affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center.

  • Corporate Personhood: Animal Firm

    1) Supreme Court rules that at least in political campaign finance, corporations are people, too.2) New York Magazine publishes a feature by John…

  • Scott Brown and the Liberal Campus

    Another surprise from the Massachusetts senatorial race: the paradoxical power of professorial politics. Many conservatives resent what they consider…

  • Gallus Domesticus, Biotechnologist

    "It sounds like both the chickens and their farmers are in the Federal Witness Protection Program!"That's just one comment on a Wall Street Journal…

  • Mobile Computing, Good for Your Heart?

    Technology can have positive unintended consequences, too. Consider the partial shift of computing to smartphones, netbooks, tablets, and other…

  • Legends of Obsolescence

    Did buggy-whip makers fail to read the handwriting on the stable wall?In Sunday's New York Times, Randall Stross debunks the parable told round the…

  • Attention Must Be Paid

    The New York Times reports on automotive Web connections as a potentially dangerous new source of distraction for motorists. But as comments on…

  • A Steep Path to Apple's Tablet?

    Apple bloggers are beginning to report that the forthcoming Mac tablet will have a "steep learning curve." (Thanks to for the link.)…

  • Resist the Urge to Diss the Burj

    Think before you gloat. The indiscreet charm of the Burj Dubai, now officially renamed the Burj Khalifa in honor of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al…

  • Are You Satisfied Now?

    After years of apparently spectacular results, the social scientific study of happiness is at a crossroads. Subjective well-being is easy to measure;…

  • The Marshmallow and the Cherry

    Earlier in the year Jonah Lehrer explained in the New Yorker how cool deferred gratification is and how we need to teach it to our kids, the younger…

  • Is It Time to Kindle Print?

    The founder and CEO of, Jeff Bezos, declares in a Newsweek interview:[T]he physical book really has had a 500-year run. It's probably the…

  • Warning: This May Be Hazardous to Your Vision

    Excellence. There must be a catch. And a prominent New York pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Mark Steele, says there's a downside to the city's…

  • Oral Roberts and Sol Price: Depression Legacies

    What Oral Roberts and Sol Price would have thought of each other's often side-by-side obituaries we'll never know. But the politically conservative…

  • Secession Cocktail: Mint Julep with Maple Syrup

    In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, President Obama declared:[W]ars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations.  The…

  • Boldface Names, Telltale Texts

    The Philadelphia Inquirer's John Timpane reflects on celebrities, cell phones, and indiscretion: Technology has changed the nature of the illicit…

  • Bare Ruined Cubicles

    Consider (as Rod Steiger Serling might have introduced a Twilight Zone episode) the case of the Finnish-born American architect Eero Saarinen, who…

  • The Real Outliers

    What if the solutions to many of the world's, and America's, challenges of health, education, and productivity already exist and are waiting to be…

  • Welfare State Not Always a Bed of Roses

    They have some of the world's best medical care; their professors award the field's Nobel Prize. International studies show they're among of the…

  • The Middle as Frontier

    A Wall Street Journal feature on "The Million-Dollar Penny" illustrates an unexpected result of the new marketplace the Web helped create: high-end…

  • Patent Arrogance

    "Don't Be Evil"? Silicon Valley seems to be thinking a lot more about the unthinkable, or at least the distasteful.The New York Times Digital Domain…


Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.


Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."


The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands


'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.


Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas


The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm


Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."


Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."



From This Author

Just In