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Culture & Society

From badass educators to solving homelessness, we cover the people and ideas changing the world in Culture and Society. We believe that together, we can push the human race forward, one remarkable story at a time.

Culture & Society

Art
Bacteria Are Cleaning Michelangelo's Renaissance Sculptures
bacteria cleaning sculptures
Art
Bacteria Are Cleaning Michelangelo's Renaissance Sculptures
Faced with stubborn, literal stains of the family’s violent past, the Medici Chapel has used bacteria to clean Michelangelos.
June 13, 2021

Faced with stubborn, literal stains of the family’s violent past, the Medici Chapel has used bacteria to clean Michelangelos.

Build for Tomorrow
Are We Really Addicted to Technology?
Are We Really Addicted to Technology?
Build for Tomorrow
Are We Really Addicted to Technology?
Simplifying very complex things can lead to real harm.
By Freethink Team
May 30, 2021

Simplifying very complex things can lead to real harm.

Future of Work
Remote Work Is Reversing the Brain Drain
Remote Work Is Reversing the Brain Drain
Future of Work
Remote Work Is Reversing the Brain Drain
Rural economies can now lure top talent away from big cities and affluent countries — could this be the reverse of the brain drain?
May 29, 2021

Rural economies can now lure top talent away from big cities and affluent countries — could this be the reverse of the brain drain?

Entertainment
Discovery Channel Is Looking for Wannabe Astronauts
astronaut competition
Entertainment
Discovery Channel Is Looking for Wannabe Astronauts
The winner of Discovery Channel’s new astronaut competition series, “Who Wants To Be an Astronaut?” will spend eight days aboard the ISS.
May 24, 2021

The winner of Discovery Channel’s new astronaut competition series, “Who Wants To Be an Astronaut?” will spend eight days aboard the ISS.

Health Care
Can An App Save Cardiac Arrest Victims Before EMS Arrives?
cardiac arrest app
Health Care
Can An App Save Cardiac Arrest Victims Before EMS Arrives?
In Denmark, Heartrunner directs citizen responders to cardiac arrest victims. Should the U.S. adopt a similar approach?
May 23, 2021

In Denmark, Heartrunner directs citizen responders to cardiac arrest victims. Should the U.S. adopt a similar approach?

Micromobility
How Spin Is Making Its E-Scooter Service More Accessible
spin e-scooters accessibility
Micromobility
How Spin Is Making Its E-Scooter Service More Accessible
Spin, a micromobility provider, is using AI to help make e-scooters safer and city streets more accessible to all residents.
By John McDermott
May 22, 2021

Spin, a micromobility provider, is using AI to help make e-scooters safer and city streets more accessible to all residents.

Entertainment
How Will Movie Theaters Survive Post-Pandemic?
Chance the Rapper concert film
Entertainment
How Will Movie Theaters Survive Post-Pandemic?
Chicago musician Chance the Rapper is releasing his new concert film, “Magnificent Coloring World,” exclusively through AMC Theatres.
May 12, 2021

Chicago musician Chance the Rapper is releasing his new concert film, “Magnificent Coloring World,” exclusively through AMC Theatres.

VR
World’s First VR Opera to Open in London
VR opera
VR
World’s First VR Opera to Open in London
“Current, Rising,” the world’s first VR opera, promises to immerse audiences in a “hyper-reality” made possible by technology.
May 10, 2021

“Current, Rising,” the world’s first VR opera, promises to immerse audiences in a “hyper-reality” made possible by technology.

Sustainability
World’s Biggest Jeweler Will Only Sell Lab-Created Diamonds
lab-created diamonds
Sustainability
World’s Biggest Jeweler Will Only Sell Lab-Created Diamonds
Jewelry company Pandora has announced plans to start using only lab-created diamonds in its products, officially turning its back on diamond mining.
May 9, 2021

Jewelry company Pandora has announced plans to start using only lab-created diamonds in its products, officially turning its back on diamond mining.

Favorites in Culture & Society

Relentless
How Hamish Brewer is Changing the Game
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
Watch Now
Relentless
How Hamish Brewer is Changing the Game
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
Watch Now
October 24, 2017

To hear Hamish Brewer speak is to be inspired. About education. About life. About the possibilities of it all. And for disadvantaged youths that come from poverty and broken homes, the New Zealander with an infectious energy works hard to encourage them to excel, not only in school, but in life. About Hamish Brewer With a shaved head, tattoos, and one of those loud, larger-than-life personalities, Hamish Brewer is hard to...

Wrong
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
Watch Now
Wrong
Did the Food Pyramid Make Us Fat?
To address rising health problems in the 1980s, scientists and policymakers developed the US Food Pyramid to...
Watch Now
November 9, 2017

To address rising health problems in the 1980s, scientists and policymakers developed the US Food Pyramid to encourage healthy eating. But despite a massive public education campaign, obesity and diabetes continued to rise. What happened? How did we get it so… wrong?

Psychology
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Watch Now
Psychology
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Are things really worse than ever, or are we missing the bigger picture?
Watch Now
October 30, 2018

Author and Harvard professor Steven Pinker lays out what he see as a basic paradox. The news today seems worse than ever - but based on a number of key metrics, Pinker argues the world is better than it’s ever been. Pinker explores the data and makes the case for how can we tackle the world’s problems while not drowning in negativity. That’s the focus of his latest book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science,...

What It Takes
The Snake Milk King
The Snake Milk King
Watch Now
What It Takes
The Snake Milk King
Enter the Kentucky Reptile Zoo—one of the largest collections of venomous reptiles in the world—and meet Jim Harrison, the man that spent his 42-year career milking King Cobras for anti-venom and saving lives across the globe. What drives a man like this to risk his life each and every day?
Watch Now
June 20, 2019

Enter the Kentucky Reptile Zoo—one of the largest collections of venomous reptiles in the world—and meet Jim Harrison, the man that spent his 42-year career milking King Cobras for anti-venom and saving lives across the globe. He’s a former cop, bounty hunter, and professional kickboxer - but for decades now his main focus has been extracting venom from snakes, or “snake milking.” He and his wife, Kristen Wiley, run the...

Culture of Change
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Watch Now
Culture of Change
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Blistering speed. Big money. 11-year-old world champions. Is drone racing the next big sport?
Watch Now
May 25, 2019

Yes, drone racers are a thing and they’re amazing. The Drone Racing League has gone from a dream to ESPN in a few short years. We met world champion Paul Nurkalla, aka Nurk FPV, and got an inside look at how the DRL is striving to be the next big sports league. Somewhere between esports, NASCAR and Star Wars sits drone racing, also known as FPV racing. It’s a breathtakingly fast spectacle where drone pilots fly quadcopters...

Thinking Differently
The Joy of Being Wrong
The Joy of Being Wrong
Watch Now
Thinking Differently
The Joy of Being Wrong
Can practicing intellectual humility make us smarter and happier? Science says yes.
Watch Now
May 6, 2019

Arguments on social media are notorious. People often naturally form an echo chamber of people with similar beliefs, and when people outside it start arguments, the discussion often becomes antagonistic. Is there a better way? Science suggests that a good starting point is by practicing intellectual humility. By admitting the possibility that we ourselves could be wrong, we’re able to better evaluate arguments and construct...

#FIXINGJUSTICE - harm reduction
24 Years For a Crime He Didn’t Commit
24 Years For a Crime He Didn’t Commit
Watch Now
#FIXINGJUSTICE - harm reduction
24 Years For a Crime He Didn’t Commit
When a prisoner serving a life sentence is suddenly found to be innocent, it often makes national news. But what happens after the cameras go away?
Watch Now
April 18, 2019

There are around 2,500 exonerees in the U.S.—people who were convicted of a crime and then later proven innocent by their own doggedness or new evidence in a case. When they are freed from prison, their lives are often saddled by the same issues that hold back people who actually committed a crime—lack of education, no job skills or employment history, and the stigma of having spent years in prison. While their release is...

#FIXINGJUSTICE - policing
Why the 6th Most Dangerous City is Turning to Community Policing
Why the 6th Most Dangerous City is Turning to Community Policing
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#FIXINGJUSTICE - policing
Why the 6th Most Dangerous City is Turning to Community Policing
Police departments around the country are increasingly looking at community policing programs as a tool to help reestablish trust in the communities they serve.
Watch Now
April 15, 2019

While community policing programs are nothing new, they fell out of popularity after a big push in the early 90s due to shifting priorities and budget crunches of the Great Recession. But with growing scrutiny of police and their often strained relationships with minority communities, police departments are increasingly looking to community policing programs to bridge the gap and rebuild trust. The Rockford Police...

Stand Together
This Restaurant Gives At-Risk Youth a Second Chance
This Restaurant Gives At-Risk Youth a Second Chance
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Stand Together
This Restaurant Gives At-Risk Youth a Second Chance
Cafe Momentum offers an alternative to the revolving doors at Texas jails.
Watch Now
November 5, 2018

Chef Chad Houser was a rising star in the Dallas restaurant scene, but after volunteering with kids in the criminal justice system, he felt a calling to do more. He gave up his job to start Cafe Momentum, a restaurant staffed by kids from the criminal justice system. They’re given year-long paid internships where they are taught the skills to succeed in restaurants and society. It’s his way of trying to fix the problems...

#fixingjustice - policing
The Dad Changing How Police Shootings Are Investigated
The Dad Changing How Police Shootings Are Investigated
Watch Now
#fixingjustice - policing
The Dad Changing How Police Shootings Are Investigated
After his son was killed by police, Michael Bell fought for over a decade to change how we investigate police shootings.
Watch Now
October 11, 2018

For over a decade, ever since police killed his son, Michael Bell has been trying to get an independent investigation into the shooting — and he's fighting to make sure that every family is entitled to one, whenever police use lethal force. In November 2004, his son, Michael Bell, Jr., was pulled over in front of his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for an alleged traffic violation. Although a dashcam video captures the initial...

Crossing The Divide
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
Watch Now
Crossing The Divide
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
Why a gay rights activist started a movement to talk to thousands who voted against gay marriage.
Watch Now
June 12, 2017

After Californians voted against gay marriage in 2008, Dave Fleischer, head of the Leadership LAB at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, knew he had to do something different to reach people. Dave and his team embarked on an ambitious task to talk to as many people who who disagreed with them as they could. They used a technique called “deep canvassing” where activists connect with people using personal stories to a make deeper...