Skip to main content
Move the World.

Welcome back to another edition of This Week In Ideas, where we share with you the most compelling things we read this week. Have a suggestion for TWID? Hit us up on Twitter! (Also, follow us! We only tweet stuff that’s worth your attention.)

Scientists create a part-human, part-pig embryo: “The human-pig hybrid — dubbed a ‘chimera’ for the mythical creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail — was ‘highly inefficient,’ the researchers cautioned. But it's the most successful human-animal chimera and a significant step toward the development of animal embryos with functioning human organs.”

salkinstitute
Jun Wu and Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, the lead researchers behind the chimera project (photo via Salk Institute)

How the Hubble Space Telescope changed the Universe: Before Hubble was launched skyward in 1990, “We had no idea how deep, how dense, and how full of stuff the Universe is.”

hubbletelescope
Hubble telescope (image via NASA)

Americans know cyber security is something they need to take seriously, so why aren’t they doing just that? “A majority of Americans have directly experienced some form of data theft or fraud, that a sizeable share of the public thinks that their personal data have become less secure in recent years, and that many lack confidence in various institutions to keep their personal data safe from misuse. In addition, many Americans are failing to follow digital security best practices in their own personal lives, and a substantial majority expects that major cyberattacks will be a fact of life in the future.”

infosecurity
A study shows people are concerned about online privacy, but aren't taking steps to protect themselves

How it feels to age alongside your favorite athletes: “Sports are great because commentators talk about athletes in their mid-thirties like they’re historical landmarks in need of restoration and repair, writes” writes Tim Carmody in a short meditation on aging alongside his favorite athletes.

Daily Routines of brilliant people, described: When was Mozart most productive? “During the night when I cannot sleep.” Hemingway, meanwhile, preferred to start writing “every morning as soon after first light as possible.” Brilliant minds, it turns out, are not all alike.

More About

Thinking Differently
How to Change the World
How to Change the World
Watch Now
Thinking Differently
How to Change the World
Olivia Leland, founder and CEO of Co-Impact, on how we should approach solving the world’s most complex problems.
Watch Now

Do you want to change the world? Olivia Leland, founder and CEO of Co-Impact, shares 3 lessons learned from organizations, philanthropists, and social change leaders that move the world forward. When we think about changing the world, we make a few mistakes over and over again. We think it’s a matter of voting, or giving to charity, or starting a business - but historically, many of the world’s biggest…

Catalysts
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
Catalysts
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them thrive.”

“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them thrive.”

#fixingjustice - Policing
How to Hold Police Accountable
How to Hold Police Accountable
Watch Now
#fixingjustice - Policing
How to Hold Police Accountable
The Invisible Institute is making Chicago police complaints easily available to the public—and is helping hold police accountable.
Watch Now

A Freethink update: It's been several months since we first brought you the story of journalist Jamie Kalven and his influential "Sixteen Shots" expose in Slate that depicted a corrupt Chicago police department in the midst of a cover-up following the racist killing of teenager Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Since then, Kalven has written another critical piece,…

Catalysts
Introducing Catalysts
Introducing Catalysts
Watch Now
Catalysts
Introducing Catalysts
It’s time to change how we make change. Join us as we meet inspiring social entrepreneurs who are exploring bold new solutions to big social problems.
Watch Now

How can we make progress on a problem as huge and seemingly intractable as poverty? How can we not? There is no silver bullet to eradicating poverty, but all across the country, a diverse array of social entrepreneurs are doing their part to take on this monumental challenge, building amazing organizations that are having a real impact in their communities. Catalysts, a Freethink original series presented by Stand Together, will…

Dispatches
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
Dispatches
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
The "secret life of antidepressants" could open up a host of new treatments.
By Leah Shaffer

The "secret life of antidepressants" could open up a host of new treatments.

Crossing the Divide
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Crossing the Divide
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.
By Michael O'Shea

Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.

Crossing the Divide
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Crossing the Divide
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are working tirelessly to…
By Dan Hayes

Amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are working tirelessly to forge connections

Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
Watch Now
Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
One of the most significant transformations in humankind is underway but largely going untold.
Watch Now

One of the most significant transformations in humankind is underway but largely going untold. Fueled by advances in technology and innovation, global poverty has been slashed in half over the last decade with predictions that it will be eradicated over the next. From makeshift cities to smart phones to water purification to the blockchain, join us as we travel the world to see firsthand how entrepreneurship is lifting people up…

Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi persecution.
By Mike Riggs

Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi persecution.