Editor's note

When Kellyanne Conway made her now infamous statement about the White House providing “alternative facts,” many quickly shot down the notion. But archaeologist Peter Neal Peregrine writes that her comment may reveal just how vulnerable we are to a way of thinking that could set us back centuries: “Conway’s statement was not based on a scientific perspective, but rather on a much older tradition of deciding what is true: the argument from authority.”

Could a cyberattack take out the power grid? It’s already happened in Ukraine, and could happen here, too. Grid-security researchers Manimaran Govindarasu and Adam Hahn explain how, and what must happen to protect the grid.

And following President Trump’s executive order to rescind protections for transgender students, we’ve distilled the best analysis from our previous articles to tell you what you need to know.

Danielle Douez

Associate Editor, Politics + Society

Top story

White House spokesman Sean Spicer and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway chat. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Seeking truth among 'alternative facts'

Peter Neal Peregrine, Lawrence University

How do we determine what is fact? An archaeologist explains how the answer has changed over time and why it matters so much now.

Science + Technology


Environment + Energy

Arts + Culture

  • How Iranian filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi defy the censors

    Kevin Hagopian, Pennsylvania State University

    Their critiques may be more gentle, their attacks more circumspect – but they are resonant nonetheless. And when filmmakers like Farhadi confront Trump, they're on familiar turf: They've seen his type back home.

Ethics + Religion

Politics + Society

  • Botswana at 50: The end of an African success story?

    James Kirby, La Trobe University

    For a global audience, the movie 'A United Kingdom' provides a topical account of race relations. The love story is likely to revitalize the popular viewpoint of Botswana as a national success story.

Economy + Business

Rest of the World


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