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Articles by Miller-McCune

The online magazine harnesses current academic research with real-time reporting to address pressing social concerns. Each day, we offer you information and possible solutions to concerns in areas such as education, politics, the environment, economics, urban affairs, and health so you can join our lively global conversation based on work by researchers, leaders, and journalists. Our print magazine, Miller-McCune, draws on academic research and other definitive sources to provide reasoned policy options and solutions for today's pressing issues. Articles and other material that appear in the magazine are posted at

Featured Article

A memorial rests in the shadow of the Chernobyl nuclear plant.Photo: Matti PaavonenThis piece was written by John Perlin.

As a visiting scholar last year at the Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells, I met Valery N. Bliznyuk, a visiting professor at Linz and a permanent faculty member at Western Michigan University. His fascinating work in materials at molecular and nanotech levels includes work on polymer photovoltaics.

Over dinner, he told me he hailed from Kiev (or Kyiv in Ukrainian), and the subject of Chernobyl inevitably arose. And now, with the disaster at Fukushima dredging up memories of that meltdown 25 years ago, Bliznyuk’s recollections of being a scientist laboring in an informational black hole seemed particularly resonant.

Yes, he told me, as a young physicist he had lived through the 1986 disaster at the Ukrainian nuclear plant about 60 miles north of his hometown.

Bliznyuk’s personal knowledge of Chernobyl began in the most banal way. He first learned of the world’s greatest nuclear power disaster from a routine news broadcast, not a breaking bulletin. As part of the same nightly newscast on April 26,... Read more

All Articles

  • Wording change softens global warming skeptics

    This snowlady needs to rewrite her sign if she wants to be 6.3 percent more convincing.Photo: Amy GoodmanThis piece was written by Tom Jacobs. Are you convinced climate change is real? What about global warming? Yes, that second question is redundant. But new research finds the two labels, which are widely used interchangeably, evoke remarkably […]

  • How to bury nuclear waste for the next 100,000 years

    A scene from Into Eternity, a documentary that looks at Finland’s plans to store the country’s nuclear waste for 100,000 years. Yep … 100,000. Photo: PosivaThis piece was written by Lewis Beale. The first documentary that Netflix might slot into their science fiction category, director Michael Madsen’s Into Eternity, is an eerily fascinating look at […]

  • China: the neverending traffic jam story

    Transportation experts say there’s barely enough space on the roads in China’s largest cities for the 35 million cars that were bought during the past decade of frenzied consumerism. Photo: Remko TanisThis piece was written by Melinda Burns. The new Great Wall of China is the “Great Wall” of cars stuck in city traffic, researchers […]

  • How bullets kill wildlife decades after they’ve been fired

    Honker flew the coop and dodged a bullet.Photo: Alan VernonThis piece was written by Bruce Dorminey. At first glance, Crescent Lake, a shallow body abutting a cornfield in upper Snohomish County, Wash., would appear to be perfectly pristine. Mallard and pintail ducks skirt the edges of its banks on waters that — in this contaminated […]