Latest Ideas headlines

50 words: Recognition

50 Words: Recognition


The Mueller Report was not a hoax

The GOP is trying to paint the Ukraine investigation as another farce, just like the Russia investigation. But the Russia investigation was no farce.


The death of free markets

How big companies turned America into Monopoly Land.


We know medical error is a deadly problem. Why haven’t we fixed it?

Hospitals are using checklists and information-sharing tools - but often, not effectively.


Are you grateful?

Actively practicing gratitude can make us happier.


Big Data: Zero

The United States resettled zero refugees in the month of October. It was the first time since reporting began that the number was so low.


We’ve turned our attention to Latin America again. That’s bad for Latin America.

Our wars in the Middle East distracted us, for a time, from our destructive practice of meddling in Central and South America. No longer.


A Green Death: At my grandparents’ grave, rethinking the final passage

4.3 million gallons of embalming fluid is too much. There is another way.


Axes, a battering ram, and Boston’s forgotten fight against slavery

In 1854, a crowd of protesters - black and white, immigrants and Brahmins - joined in a violent protest against the imprisonment of a man who had escaped slavery and settled in Boston. When a court moved to return him to the South, 50,000 opponents crowded the streets.


The GOP’s willful blindness to Trump’s abuses is putting our democracy in peril

This should be a hair-on-fire moment for the American people.

Who’s the lucky one? What we often forget when we think about adoption

What we often forget when we think about adoption

Big Data: 331 Deaths

The annual count of killings of trans and gender diverse people was released on the International Trans Day of Remembrance.

50 Words: Feeding the meter

Boston in 50 words.


They called us ‘flat-earthers.’ But we were right

Twenty years ago, the activists who demonstrated outside the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle were ridiculed. Now, they look prescient.

50 Words: Driving down Hancock . . .

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

Cartoon | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

A different take on the haunted house

Beth Wolfensberger Singer’s take on the news.

Cartoon | Sage Stossel

In the spirit of the season

Sage Stossel’s take on the news.

Ideas | Q&A

Will robots kill our jobs? What an MIT report tells us about the future of work

We’re on the brink of a technological revolution. But will that result in benefits spread across society or just for a few?

Big Data: A big milestone in quantum computing?

Google says it’s achievement is revolutionary. Competitors aren’t as kind.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren showed her support for striking Chicago school teachers on Tuesday. The Democratic presidential race seems to be boiling down to a single question.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Will ‘Medicare for All’ destroy Elizabeth Warren’s campaign?

The Democratic presidential race seems to be boiling down to a single question.

50 Words: South End, 1985

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

Harriet Tubman (left) posed for a photograph with a group of slaves she helped escape. Climate change is imperiling a number of important African American historical sites.

Ideas | Rona Kobell

Climate change is wiping out Harriet Tubman’s homeland, and we’re doing little about it

America’s racialized topography means African-American historical sites are especially vulnerable to climate change; the fact that we’re willing to lose these places speaks volumes.

Ideas | Flynn Coleman

Are we modeling AI on the wrong brain?

Much like humans had to first let go of having to fly exactly like birds fly in order to crack the code of flight, we must now look beyond the widely held belief that the human mind is singular and unique as an intellectual model.

Big Data: The tenure of a Supreme Court justice

How long does a justice on the high court serve, on average?

50 Words: Boston City Hall . . .

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

A new biography of the planner responsible for empowering Boston’s redevelopment agency, Ed Logue (above), challenges a long-held, simple narrative.

Ideas | Courtney Humphries

Ed Logue and the birth of modern Boston

A new biography of the man who remade the city in the 1960s challenges popular tropes about the evils of urban renewal.

Cartoon | A.J.B. Lane

Leave it to Hunter

Cartoonist A.J.B. Lane’s take on the news.

TOPSHOT - A woman covers her face as she stands along the side of a road on the outskirts of the town of Tal Tamr near the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain along the border with Turkey in the northeastern Hassakeh province on October 16, 2019, with the smoke plumes of tire fires billowing in the background to decrease visibility for Turkish warplanes that are part of operation


Condemning Trump on Syria? It’s ‘buffet outrage’

Much of the criticism is a hypocritical blend of anti-Trump fanaticism and frustration over the emerging reality that we have lost the Syrian war.

Minneapolis is one of the cities that has replaced Columbus Day celebrations with Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations.

Big Data

A number of Mass. cities won’t celebrate Columbus Day on Monday

Six communities across the state will instead observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Amherst, Northampton, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, and Great Barrington.

People of all ages march as they take part in a strike to demand action on climate change on Sept. 20 in New York City.

Margaret Morganroth Gullette

Contrived generational wars disguise the failure of the American Dream

It’s not about “greedy” Boomers or “slacker” Gen Xers. It’s about a generation-spanning decline in upward mobility.

Stat | Adam Dean and Simeon Kimmel

Beyond the Sacklers: Free-trade policies contributed to the opioid epidemic

We can’t say for sure that job losses are killing people. Yet it seems likely that there’s a relationship.

Cartoon | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Some reworked Halloween decorations

Beth Wolfensberger Singer’s take on the news.

Miracle on the Mystic: Chelsea, Everett, and the New American Dream

The blue-collar cities of Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and Malden lifted thousands of their poorest children to better lives. Their story could offer clues to restoring upward mobility in America.

Harvard University economics professor Raj Chetty recently sat down to discuss what drives his work — and where he hopes it might take us.


Raj Chetty wants to revive the American Dream

The renowned Harvard economist talks to the Globe about his big-data assault on the most pressing problem of our time.

Big Data: Student views on school prayer

Pew Research Center recently released a survey about religion in the public education sphere.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Danylyuk inspects a machine gun made by Ukraine during tactical exercises at the National Guard training ground near Stare village.

Ideas | Sevgil Musaieva

Once a model for Ukrainians, the US now shows signs of the same corruption problems

Ukrainian business people and politicians have long been willing to pay generously for the attention of influential Americans, but the Trump-Ukraine scandal has led many in Ukraine to lose hope that the US could be a role model of a country free from corruption.

Yemeni children attend the first day of class in a school that was damaged by an air strike during fighting between the Saudi-backed government forces and the Huthis.

Ideas | Stephen Kinzer

Complicity in Saudi war on Yemen will be part of Trump legacy

Even if he finishes his presidency without sending American troops into combat, history will not forgive President Trump’s support of Saudi Arabia’s relentless war against Yemen.

Ideas | David Shribman

Canadian elections are short, civil, and to the point. Why not ours?

Elections north of the border are different in tone, pace, substance and character from the raucous, coarse, gritty, permanent campaign Americans are conducting.

Cartoon | Sage Stossel

‘Profiles in Co . . . ’

Sage Stossel’s take on the news.

Impeachment won’t restrain Trumpism — it will unleash it.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

The hidden danger of impeachment

Democrats are worried about a political backlash. But there’s a deeper concern.

Ideas | Amitha Kalaichandran

Climate change is making us sick

The UN Climate Change Summit conference failed to address the impact a warming planet has on our health.

The newly restored Caminada Headland, in Grand Isle, La., is a 13-mile-long barrier island system that buffers the Louisiana coast from tropical storms and surge.

Big Data: A key number on the climate change front

If the planet continues to warm at an advanced rate, the implications could be catastrophic for low-lying and coastal areas.


50 Words: Boston Garden, 1964

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

Cartoon | A.J.B. Lane

The tortoise and the heir

Cartoonist A.J.B. Lane weighs in on the news.

Youths filled the State House on Sept. 20 during the youth “climate strike” event in Boston. Writes Tatiana Schlossberg: “It’s OK to be angry and upset, but you have to stay engaged and involved.”

Ideas | Tatiana Schlossberg

Combating climate change can feel like a daunting task, but we’re not powerless

There are several things we should keep mind as we try to confront the twin problems of climate change and environmental degradation.

Icebergs floated along the eastern cost of Greenland last month.

Ideas | Tatiana Schlossberg

Buying jeans, eating burgers, watching Netflix: They affect the environment, too

Nearly everything we do has an effect on the climate. But the narrative of personal responsibility just makes us feel guilty while letting those who are truly responsible off the hook. We do have tools to make a difference, though.