This article appeared in the June 2020 challenge of Find journal as “What We’re Studying.” Subscribe for far more tales like these.


Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Worry

by Eva Holland

Confession: I’m terrified of centipedes. In the course of my childhood, my parents’ upstairs rest room was a well-liked hangout for these creepy crawlers, and I’d keep away from heading in there for days if just one built an look. But soon after looking at Nerve, I identified myself questioning why I was even now fearful of these normally harmless critters. 

Concerned of heights due to the fact childhood, science journalist Holland determined to encounter her lifelong phobias soon after the sudden death of her mother — which had been her best dread of all. She jumped out of an plane, tortured herself with just one rock climb soon after another and even traveled to the Netherlands to partake in emerging therapies for phobias. But she does not contemplate herself a daredevil — in reality, she spends a total chapter reckoning with the phenomenon of individuals who really do not appear to be to be fearful of just about anything. In Nerve, her in depth look at dread, often as a examination matter and other instances as a crucial observer, reframes the conversation of how we strategy these usually-paralyzing reactions that appear to be ingrained in our personalities. 

Holland’s journey is a white-knuckle ride, but she continues to be analytical and introspective, meticulously amassing the know-how she desires to appear to conditions with what haunts her. Nevertheless seldom prescriptive in nature, Nerve built me imagine two times about the fears and anxieties that I have gripped tightly through my personal existence — and no matter if it is time to adjust my viewpoint on centipedes, also.


Ingredients: The Peculiar Chemistry of What We Place in Us and on Us

by George Zaidan

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Processed food is terrible for you, suitable? Turns out the remedy is not so basic. Wielding academic study with an irreverent and humorous tone, science communicator Zaidan breaks down sophisticated issues about our preferred treats and items. 


They Are Already Below: UFO Society and Why We See Saucers

by Sarah Scoles

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Peculiar objects in the evening sky have fascinated experts and conspiracy theorists for centuries. But instead of asking the age-outdated question — “Are UFOs serious?” — science journalist Scoles wanted to discover far more about the individuals behind these sightings. In They Are Already Below, she embarks on a vibrant journey to satisfy people from all walks of existence who preserve their eyes fixed on objects in the evening sky. 


Unnatural Companions: Rethinking Our Enjoy of Animals in an Age of Wildlife Extinction

by Peter Christie

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We like our animals, but Fido might be wreaking far more havoc on the atmosphere than we notice. Science journalist Christie investigates how our like of animals impacts wildlife populations — from the pet amphibian trade threatening wild axolotl populations in Mexico to domestic canines spreading ailments throughout the world.


Why We Swim

by Bonnie Tsui

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We’re land animals by nature, but the urge to swim even now, er, swims in our blood. In a poetic blend of science and memoir, creator and former aggressive swimmer Tsui can take to the seas, lakes and swimming swimming pools to uncover why humankind has these kinds of an affinity for open drinking water.