Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer is Slate's chief explainer. He also writes How and Why and Ecologic for the Washington Post. Email him at explainerbrian@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Medical Examiner
Jan. 30 2014 11:22 PMWhy Norovirus Is Such a MenaceThe amazing little pathogen does so much more than cause cruise-ship disease.
Medical Examiner
Jan. 15 2014 11:40 AMAlcoholics Anonymous vs. the DoctorsCould new addiction medications replace mutual-help groups?
Explainer
Dec. 17 2013 4:00 PMWould James Madison Have Agreed With Edward Snowden?What the Fourth Amendment originally meant.
Explainer
Nov. 20 2013 2:45 PMShould We Hold Thanksgiving Earlier?The economic impacts of this year’s shortened holiday season.
Explainer
Nov. 18 2013 5:22 PMHow Long Can You Hold Your Breath?The physical effects of training for world records and freediving.
Medical Examiner
Oct. 24 2013 11:41 AMRicky Schroder Tries to Be Erin BrockovichOrdinary people cannot detect cancer clusters. We should stop trying.
Medical Examiner
Oct. 16 2013 10:49 AMWhy Are So Many Kids Getting Myopia?Spending too much time indoors may impair children’s vision.
Medical Examiner
Sept. 12 2013 5:25 AMA Dog’s LifeAn infectious disease forces us to consider how many dogs a human life is worth.
Medical Examiner
Aug. 20 2013 5:45 AMThe Case Against the Annual CheckupGoing to the doctor when you’re not sick does more harm than good.
Rivalries
Aug. 13 2013 5:45 AM1,776 Feet. What a Letdown.The Manhattan skyline is a monument to competitive spirit. So why did One World Trade Center settle for fourth place?
Rivalries
Aug. 2 2013 2:49 PMHow Much Is a Sports Rivalry Worth?The economics of crosstown hatred.
Explainer
July 18 2013 3:05 PMHow Accurate Are Juries?Your peers are far from infallible.
Explainer
July 16 2013 6:51 PMDo Other Countries Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?Or do they require you to slowly back away?
Explainer
July 11 2013 3:41 PMHey, You! Get off of My Cloud!How much of the airspace above your home do you own?
Moneybox
July 9 2013 2:51 PMTipping Is an AbominationHere’s how to get rid of it.
Medical Examiner
Jan. 22 2014 11:52 PMCooking Up Cancer?It wouldn’t be crazy to give up grilled, smoked, or fried food.
Explainer
Dec. 19 2013 4:31 PMDo Whales Kill People?Most collisions between boats and whales are accidental. But not all.
Explainer
Dec. 16 2013 3:16 PMPaul Ryan Is the Early, Early Favorite in IowaWhat do polls years before an election really tell us?
Explainer
Nov. 19 2013 3:46 PMWas Brittany Murphy Poisoned?An iffy new autopsy report shows she had heavy metals in her hair.
Billion to One
Nov. 15 2013 8:08 AMBig-Bucks BacteriaIs there money to be found inside the human gut?
Future Tense
Oct. 23 2013 7:45 AMIn Sickness and in HealthMarriage may extend your life, but it also contributes to obesity.
Human Genome
Sept. 30 2013 11:45 PMWhere Are All the Miracle Drugs?The human genome was sequenced about 13 years ago. We were supposed to have major medical advances in a decade.
Moneybox
Sept. 4 2013 1:39 PMDitch Your Loyalty CardsLong receipts filled with coupons and free sandwich giveaways are a crutch for bad businesses.
Medical Examiner
Aug. 15 2013 7:42 AMBring on the Foreign DoctorsThey’re just as good as the homegrown variety. So why don’t we let them practice here?
Explainer
Aug. 5 2013 3:39 PMWhat Happens in Racial Sensitivity Training?How counselors will try to talk the racism out of Riley Cooper.
Science
July 30 2013 12:08 PMI Wish I Was a Little Bit ShorterThe research is clear: Being tall is hazardous to your health.
Explainer
July 17 2013 2:43 PMWhy Do We Drink Lemonade When It’s Hot Out?The role of acidity in quenching thirst.
Medical Examiner
July 16 2013 4:04 PMThe New York Times Teaches the ControversyBoth sides are not equal when it comes to chronic Lyme disease.
Explainer
July 10 2013 2:31 PMThe C-Free DietIf we didn’t have California, what would we eat?
Explainer
July 9 2013 1:37 PMDo Airlines Retire Flight Numbers After Crashes?Asiana Flight 214 is still flying between Seoul and San Francisco.

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