Cover Story: How to Defuse the Population Bomb (Winner: Population Institute's 2016 Global Media Award for Best Article)

In the developing world, 222 million women want contraceptives but can’t get them. Meanwhile, the latest U.N. projections suggest we’ll be up to a global population of 12.3 billion by 2100, with no stabilization in sight. As climate change turns more coasts into flood zones and more farmland to desert, the damage will be inextricably linked to population growth. So where is the funding for women’s health care?

Could Antibodies Grown in Plants be the Future of Contraceptives and HIV Protection?

One day, women everywhere may dissolve a postage-stamp sized piece of translucent film in their vaginas. It might look like a Listerine strip. It might be coated with compounds capable of making sperm wriggle in place, keeping them from inseminating a woman’s egg. It might also halt the HIV and herpes viruses found in semen in their tracks. Oh, and those compounds might be grown in a lab inside tobacco plants. This isn’t a playful exercise in techno-futurism. This is a description of a product, about to enter clinical research phases, that is part of an emerging group of drugs that are radically changing how we treat infectious disease.

With All Eyes on Keystone, Another Tar Sands Pipeline Just Crossed the Border

A Canadian tar sands pipeline with nearly the same capacity as the Keystone XL is wending its way across the U.S. border without a permit, and no one is noticing. I spoke with First Nation leaders and activists who are suing the State Department to stop it.

A Book for Parents of Gay Kids Aims to Fill a Void

The Internet is awash in parenting blogs, and dozens of books are published each year on raising children and teens, but the literature landscape for parents of queer kids is virtually unchanged. Now, two queer women who run the only popular advice site for LGBT youth are turning towards helping parents.

The Earth Moved, and It’s Our Fault

Earthquakes induced by a step in the hydraulic fracturing process are on the rise. In 2014, Oklahoma, a state with little prior seismic activity, surpassed California as the most quake-prone state. But elected officials are still struggling to come to grips with the idea that humans can make the earth move.

Ex-Ex-Gay Pride

In 1998, John Paulk was on the cover of Newsweek, posing with his wife as the face of the world’s biggest ex-gay ministry. “I would be in hotel rooms, and I would be on my face sobbing and crying on the bed,” he tells Newsweek now. Paulk is once again living as an openly gay man, and the movement is crumbling.

Your Lawn Need Fracking?

An obscure set of state oil & gas laws may allow fracking companies to extract gas from under private property, without the landowner's’ consent. The laws are on the books in 39 states, and are posing a unique challenge to notions of private property in court houses and statehouses all over the country. In rural western Pennsylvania, four landowners are fighting back.

In Utah Boom Town, a Spike in Infant Deaths Raises Questions

In a fracking boomtown in Utah’s Uintah Basin, a midwife noticed a spike in stillbirths and infant deaths. The basin is known for its ozone pollution, which exceeds Los Angeles’ pollution on winter days. The midwife, along with physician and environmental groups, managed to convince the state to look into the deaths--but will key data be excluded from the investigation?

Cover Story: Women Entrepreneurs Fight for Their Piece of the Pie

Only 13% of all venture capital deals in the United States went to women-run startups in 2013. One study found investors prefer to invest in men, even when their pitches are exactly the same as women’s. What is going on here? Investors talk about “intuition” as the chief factor in how they choose investments. But as long as the image we conjure in our collective imagination of a capable business leader is an attractive (likely young, likely white) man, that intuition will look a lot like sexism, racism and ageism.

The American Who Dared Make Putin’s Case

I spoke with Stephen Cohen, one of the foremost Russia scholars in the U.S., who has been widely derided as a Putin apologist. Cohen says he is the real American patriot and those who are pressing President Barack Obama and the European Union to counter the Russians in Crimea are a danger to our national security.

The Many Disasters Behind the West Virginia Chemical Disaster

Lax chemical regulation at the state and federal level leave health professionals scrambling for answers.

Is NYU Expanding Abroad at the Cost of Free Speech?

The United Arab Emirates are absolute-monarchy sheikhdoms, in which media publications are censored, online comments can land an emirati in prison and dissent is silenced by abduction-like arrests. The UAE is also home to branches of foreign universities, like New York University and Paris-Sorbonne, that have set up campuses entirely paid for by the UAE government. So what does it mean for those universities when the prime minister of the UAE tweets this?

What Happens When a Town Runs Out of Water?

Life in Lompico just keeps getting drier.

Protesters Sneak Into the Guggenheim, Make It Rain False Bills

“Is this part of the show?” one woman asked her companion. “I have no clue,” the other replied.

Worm Now Thrives in GMO Corn Designed to Kill It, Study Says

One of industrial agriculture’s biggest GMO crops may have just backfired.

Chile’s Hip-Hop Heroine Goes Deep

Ana Tijoux is at the top of the Chilean hip-hop scene. Vengo, her fourth full-length album, is brimming with indigenous pride and powerful explorations of her own identity, as a Chilean, a woman, an artist and a mother.