Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer is Slate's chief explainer. He also writes How and Why and Ecologic for the Washington Post. Email him at 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?
Dec. 17 2013 4:00 PMWould James Madison Have Agreed With Edward Snowden?What the Fourth Amendment originally meant.
Nov. 20 2013 2:45 PMShould We Hold Thanksgiving Earlier?The economic impacts of this year’s shortened holiday season.
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.
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?
Aug. 2 2013 2:49 PMHow Much Is a Sports Rivalry Worth?The economics of crosstown hatred.
July 18 2013 3:05 PMHow Accurate Are Juries?Your peers are far from infallible.
July 16 2013 6:51 PMDo Other Countries Have “Stand Your Ground” Laws?Or do they require you to slowly back away?
July 11 2013 3:41 PMHey, You! Get off of My Cloud!How much of the airspace above your home do you own?
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.
Dec. 19 2013 4:31 PMDo Whales Kill People?Most collisions between boats and whales are accidental. But not all.
Dec. 16 2013 3:16 PMPaul Ryan Is the Early, Early Favorite in IowaWhat do polls years before an election really tell us?
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.
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?
Aug. 5 2013 3:39 PMWhat Happens in Racial Sensitivity Training?How counselors will try to talk the racism out of Riley Cooper.
July 30 2013 12:08 PMI Wish I Was a Little Bit ShorterThe research is clear: Being tall is hazardous to your health.
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.
July 10 2013 2:31 PMThe C-Free DietIf we didn’t have California, what would we eat?
July 9 2013 1:37 PMDo Airlines Retire Flight Numbers After Crashes?Asiana Flight 214 is still flying between Seoul and San Francisco.




The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Naomi Klein Is Wrong

Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.

The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads


See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 1:38 PM Mad About Modi
 Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.

Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 12:42 PM How to Save Broken Mayonnaise
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 11:55 AM The Justice Department Is Cracking Down on Sales of Spyware Used in Stalking
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.