Editor's note

Psychology professor Jean Twenge studies differences between generations. A few years ago, she started to notice dramatic shifts in the behavior and attitudes of teens in the yearly surveys that she analyzes for her research. These teens were more lonely, more depressed and more socially awkward than their predecessors. Because their childhoods coincided with the rise of the smartphone, Twenge calls this generation iGen – and her new book is the first to analyze the impact of the smartphone on an entire generation of kids.

What should you do if neo-Nazis come to your town to rally? University of Washington historian Laurie Marhoefer, an expert on the original German Nazis, says counterprotests can actually play right into the Nazi strategy of drawing their opponents into violent clashes. In Nazi Germany, she writes, “violent confrontations with antifascists gave the Nazis a chance to paint themselves as the victims of a pugnacious, lawless left. They seized it.”

And historian Matthew Delmont of Arizona State is troubled by people’s surprise at the resurgence of white supremacism in the U.S. “When Americans celebrate the country’s victory in WWII,” he writes, “but forget that the U.S. armed forces were segregated, that the Red Cross segregated blood donors or that many black WWII veterans returned to the country only to be denied jobs or housing, it becomes all the more difficult to talk honestly about racism today.

Nick Lehr

Editor, Arts and Culture

Top story

New research is putting the first generation of kids to grow up with the smartphone into sharp relief. Olga Tropinina

How the smartphone affected an entire generation of kids

Jean Twenge, San Diego State University

Move over millennials, there's a new generation in town. Dubbed 'iGen,' they differ from their predecessors on a range of measures, from mental health to time spent with friends.

Politics + Society

Science + Technology

  • Will CRISPR fears fade with familiarity?

    Patricia Stapleton, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Americans have moved on from worrying about ‘test-tube babies’ – but there are still ethical challenges to resolve as reproductive technologies continue to advance.

Economy + Business

Environment + Energy

Health + Medicine

  • Some nerves: How loud noise may change hearing

    Matthew Xu-Friedman, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

    Noise is common, but we don't fully know what that means for our hearing. A recent study suggests how overstimulation of the auditory nerve may be too much for it to handle.

From our international editions

Today’s quote

In the court of public opinion, accusations of mayhem and chaos in the streets will, as a rule, tend to stick against the left, not the right.


How should we protest neo-Nazis? Lessons from German history

Laurie Marhoefer

University of Washington

Laurie Marhoefer