Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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How President Woodrow Wilson tried to end all wars once and for all

Following World War I, President Woodrow Wilson nearly died trying to ensure world peace.

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  • President Wilson proposed "Fourteen Points" at the end of World War I.
  • He wanted an organization created – the League of Nations – to settle international disputes.
  • The League was a precursor to the United Nations, but the U.S. never actually joined it.
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7 scientists we are thankful for this Thanksgiving

You may not recognize the names, but these seven scientists have improved the lives of people the world over.

Photo from CSIRO
  • We admire people who make a big show of their altruism, but some of the most praiseworthy accomplishments occur outside popular attention.
  • This Thanksgiving, we give thanks to seven scientists who made the world a safer, healthier place to live.
  • While there is still a lot of progress to make, the combination of science and humanism continues to improve the world and our lot in it at an unprecedented scale.
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Yuri Orlov, the Cornell physicist who was arrested by the KGB and exiled to Siberia

The incredible story of a scientist who survived gulags, fighting to change his country and physics.

  • Physicist Yuri Orlov fought for human rights during the Cold War.
  • He was arrested by the KGB and exiled to Siberia.
  • Orlov's story can inspire scientists to fight for their beliefs.
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Scientists can now map molecular structures in minutes

Electrons show chemists how to see more with less.

Dr. Ming Luo, associate director of the Center for Macromolecular Crystallography, X-rays flu virus crystals grown in space to map its structure for drug developers. Photo credit: Nasa/Getty Images
  • X-ray crystallography allows scientists to accurately map molecular structures, but the process is slow thanks to the need to grow sufficiently sized crystals.
  • Two independent research teams have discovered a way to use electron diffraction to accurately map molecular structures with incredibly small samples.
  • The results of their research have been published in both Angwandte Chemie and ChemRxiv.
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