Peter Aldhous science journalist


planesSpies In The Skies: See Maps Showing Where FBI Planes Are Watching From Above. BuzzFeed News, April 2016. Government surveillance planes routinely circle over most major cities — but usually take the weekends off. With Charles Seife. Data and analysis.



trumpDonald Trump Vs. Sea Level Rise. BuzzFeed News, January 2016. The Republican presidential frontrunner dismisses climate change as a hoax. Here’s what rising sea levels could do to the buildings that bear his name.



terror5 Charts That Show What Terrorism In America Looks Like. BuzzFeed News, November 2015. Violent extremism in the U.S. has many faces — mostly American faces. Many are not jihadis.



bftwitterHere’s What Actually Reduces Gun Violence. BuzzFeed News, October 2015. Guns aren’t going away in America. But there are ways to reduce the annual toll of 30,000 gun deaths — from universal background checks to smart policing.



arrowHere’s What Gets Terrorists To Tell The Truth — And It’s Not Torture. BuzzFeed News, August 2015. Over the past five years, psychological research — some involving real terrorist suspects — has shown how to get information from people who don’t want to talk.



arrigoHow Six Rebel Psychologists Fought A Decade-Long War On Torture — And Won. BuzzFeed News, August 2015. They were ridiculed and sidelined by the leadership of the American Psychological Association, which they accused of complicity in human rights abuses.



katrinaWhy Katrina Was The Storm From Hell. BuzzFeed News, July 2015. An epic disaster, in context: Blame an extremely high flood, bad luck, and a failure to heed warnings that New Orleans faced an existential threat.



arrowThe Silent Monkey Victims Of The War On Terror. BuzzFeed News, July 2015. They have been exposed to deadly pathogens, chemicals and radiation to develop drugs to protect Americans from weapons of mass destruction. Was all this suffering really necessary? Data and analysis.



greeceThese 6 Charts Show What Austerity Did To Greeks’ Health. BuzzFeed News, July 2015. Despite worrying spikes in suicides and HIV infections, Greece has so far avoided a full-blown health crisis. But how bad could it get?



arrowThe Big Lesson We Haven’t Learned From Riots Of The Last 50 Years. BuzzFeed News, May 2015. Riots happen when marginalized communities feel brutalized by harsh police tactics, according to research done in their aftermath since the 1960s.



precipLook At These Maps, Then Prepare For Decades Of Droughts And Floods. BuzzFeed News, April 2015. As parched California battles an epic drought, and the Northeast U.S. braces for the spring flooding season, the long-term outlook is even worse.



lelaindThese 10 Questions Can Mean Life Behind Bars. BuzzFeed News, April 2015. A checklist called the Static-99 weighs facts about a sex offender’s past in order to predict the likelihood of future crimes. Many experts worry that the way the test is often used is critically flawed.



usbiodivThese Maps Reveal How The U.S. Is Failing To Protect Its Wildlife. BuzzFeed News, April 2015. The main hotspots of biodiversity are in the Southeast of the country, but protected habitats are overwhelmingly in the West.



arrowDepression Isn’t What You Think It Is. BuzzFeed News, April 2015. Millions of people are diagnosed with major depression, while a growing number of scientists are saying it isn’t a distinct condition. It’s part of a big shake-up in psychiatry.



smarts2People Are Animals, Too. Mosaic, February 2015. The human brain is special — just not that special. To understand animal minds, and our own place in the living world, we should remove ourselves from center stage.



rxThe Daydream Disorder. Slate, September 2014. Sluggish cognitive tempo sounds like an Onion-style parody of disease mongering in psychiatry to sell prescription drugs. But the debate is real, and the stakes high.



pillsWhy Are Dope-Addicted, Disgraced Doctors Running Drug Trials? Matter, July 2014. The volunteers who sign up to test experimental drugs are the true heroes of medical research. They deserve better than this.



PNASThe Inside Track. Nature, June 2014. Members of the US National Academy of Sciences enjoy a privileged path to publication. Meet the scientists who use it most heavily. Methods and results.



mh370The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery. Medium, March 2014. How can an airliner simply disappear? That’s a good question, because the technology to transmit “black box” flight data in real time is already available.



SaraDNA Mugshot Gives Cops Another Lead. New Scientist, March 2014. It may soon be possible to create realistic “photofit” likenesses from DNA left at a crime scene. We put this nascent technology to the test.



oscarOscar Picks: How to Beat Your Film-Geek Friends. Medium, February 2014. You don’t need to be a critical genius. You don't even need to have seen the movies. Let data science and the wisdom of the markets be your guide.



KalebPet Lovers Beware: When The Drugs Don’t Work. Medium, January 2014. I investigated the science behind our dog’s meds. What I found should concern anyone who cares about our companion animals.



congressOf Course Washington Is Broken: It Was Designed to Be. Medium, December 2013. Want an end to gridlock and brinkmanship? Let’s dial back the founding fathers’ obsession with checks and balances.



crowdWant to Prevent Sexual Violence? Accept That You Know a Rapist. Medium, November 2013. Rape and sexual assault are more widespread than we like to think. To tackle the problem, we must start by talking to middle school children.



LillianOur Genomic Future. New Scientist, September 2013. Genome sequencing is starting to deliver a medical revolution for families with rare diseases. The benefits may one day come to us all. Article as PDF.