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.

  • Nomen Est Omen

    Names can be prophetic. Consider this account of a German privacy case by my friend John Schwartz, about a lawyer suing Wikipedia to enforce globally…

  • Firing Educators with Enthusiasm

    President Obama wants to make it easier to dismiss teachers whose students aren't performing well on tests. But what about the parents? By the…

  • Two Snaps: The Alchemy of Hits

    Why do some technological and cultural products spread like kudzu while others wither on the vine? Journalists and academics have written volumes…

  • Help Yourself: New Age vs. Old School

    Whatever investigators and courts ultimately decide about three deaths and a number of alleged injuries in a "sweat lodge" program at his Arizona New…

  • Getting a Grippe

    In flu season, what price prevention? That's a question the Philadelphia Inquirer is asking as religious and medical leaders discuss the ethics of…

  • The Physics Nobel and the Fate of Bell Labs

    A Newark Star-Ledger report on this year's Nobel Prize for Physics shows how the twentieth century's greatest innovation in imaging was the indirect…

  • Prof to Harvard: Drop the Balm!

    Consider this idea of the Harvard philosopher and television ambassador Michael Sandel as summarized in the (London) Times Higher Education. (I have…

  • Full Cotton Jacket

    Who thought up the white-coat policy for doctors meeting with President Obama in the Rose Garden to advocate health care reform? Since when do…

  • A Much-Needed Gap

    Was there ever really a generation gap? Recent obituaries of the retailing billionaire Donald Fisher make me wonder. Fisher apparently called his…

  • The Perils of Thinking Differently

    The Wall Street Journal reports a new wave of interest in the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, a Depression-era rearrangement of typewriter keys,…

  • Control: The Neglected Dimension

    It's good to be the king, or queen, be your realm ever so small, according to the findings of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a survey of…

  • Trial By Profile

    "Annie Le Was on Fast Track, Suspect Ray Clark Cleaned Cages; Did Worlds Collide?" That's the headline of abcnews.com in the recent Yale tragedy. A…

  • Willy Ronis: Requiem for a Humanist

    Friends of photography, and of French heritage, are mourning the death of Willy Ronis, most famous for his Nu Provençal, Gordes (1949). It's…

  • September 11 Reflections: Terror and Technology

    Hats off to Daniel Brook for his series on Slate about the September 11 ringleader Mohammed Atta. It's a gem of reporting legwork and historical…

  • Law and Hoarder

    For months, Germans have been stocking up on conventional incandescent light bulbs as the European Union (EU) phases in a ban on their manufacture…

  • Futura Shock at Ikea, and Its Flat-Pack Heritage

    Critics are using the Internet to protest technological change intended to optimize design for the Internet.

  • College Rankings: Reply to Comments

    Readers of my post on college rankings have made excellent points about the limits of all published rankings, and their comments on the original page…

  • Stanley H. Kaplan's Legacy

    The Washington Post mourns the man whose enterprise, acquired 25 years ago, now accounts for 58 percent of its corporate income, Stanley H. Kaplan.…

  • The College Rankings Season Opens

    The US News college ranking issue is out again, with the usual suspects on top and the same chorus of administrators, professors, and think tanks…

  • States of Mind: A Reply to Daniel Akst

                 Dan Akst wonders:Why, given their horrific history during the 20th century, aren't Europeans more wary of the power of the…


CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.


A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.


What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.


Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.



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