Art detectives find the faded colors in Van Gogh’s masterpiece

By Kevin Stark and Tim Rosenberger Vincent Van Gogh’s famous paintings of his bedroom used to have purple walls and, like detectives, scientists Francesca Casadio and Marc Walton have the evidence to prove it. How can the artist’s paint serve as physical evidence of the world in which it was originally applied so long  ago? […]

Research models tackle the frontline fight on global hunger

By Kevin Stark Paul West is planning the ultimate harvest. He is trying to feed billions more people on Earth with the same land we farm today. Between 35 and 40 percent of all the land on the planet yields food to feed Earth’s roughly 7 billion people.  But global populations are on the rise […]

Who can be held responsible for climate inaction?

By Kevin Stark Well, that’s different. Until negotiations kicked off in Paris this month, a goal of curbing global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) cseemed like the arduous but obtainable goal. As talks began, it quickly became clear that world leaders want an even sharper curb in fossil fuel emissions […]

DePue continues 20-year struggle to cleanup toxic pollution

By Kevin Stark Pollution can happen in an instant – a spill, an explosion, a malfunction. But cleanup can take years, adding continuing emotional toll to the people living with toxins in the air and earth. The toll is still growing for the community of DePue, a village of 1,800 tucked in the Illinois River […]

Scientists explore better ways to tell the global warming story

By Kevin Stark Throngs of demonstrators frustrated with government inaction on climate change filled the streets of Manhattan in September. They wore cardboard cutouts life preservers that said “preserve our communities.” They carried a giant sunflower, nearly the width of a city street. Colorful signs, young and old, a cross-section of America. And there was […]

Chicago area escapes record hot year

By Kevin Stark Cool summers could soon be a thing of the past in the Chicago area, NOAA climate experts warn. Major cities in the West scorched their hottest summers on record. California baked through a fourth year of drought conditions. The East Coast drowned under saturating fall rains that crippled much of South Carolina […]

The psychology of choking and why the Cubs should care


By Kevin Stark The Cubs are on a winning streak. What now? Rookie powerhouse Kyle Schwarber has hit 3 home runs this postseason while the team slugged a total of 15. The Cubs easily dispatched the Cardinals in four games, and the club is preparing to play either New York or Los Angeles in the […]