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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TODAY IN SLATE

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The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They’re just not ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 16 2014 4:08 PM More Than Scottish Pride Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.