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Protesters gather on the National Mall for the Women’s March on Washington during the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency. John Minchillo/AP Photo

Dispatch from DC: On the National Mall, the state of a nation

Inaugural weekends are snapshots of the cultural and political zeitgeist. How did this year's compare to those from 2009 and 2005?
First Lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence wave goodbye to Barack and Michelle Obama. REUTERS

Donald Trump waves goodbye to era of Baby Boomer presidents

A presidential historian explains how Trump’s inauguration marks a the end of an era defined not just by Obama, but a series of baby boomer presidents. How will Trump be different?
On his way to the White House, Jan. 20, 2017. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

NATO’s future when America comes first

Is Trump correct in asserting that NATO has outlived its utility? Or that NATO’s members enjoy a 'free ride' on the back of the US? A political scientist examines the evidence.
Donald Trump flanked by two of his children, Ivanka and Donald Jr. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Sultan Donald Trump?

A political scientist looks at the similarities between the new American president and the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. What might the parallels portend for US politics?
Protestors march on the Capitol Building, Jan. 18, 2017. AP Photo/John Minchillo

Can Trump make real change as president?

A scholar of presidential power looks at personality, rationality and the institution of the presidency for clues about what the incoming administration can accomplish.
A family dairy farm in Gilmanton Ironworks, New Hampshire. AP Photo/Jim Cole

Rural America matters to all Americans

Are you part of the 86 percent of Americans who do not live in rural America? Here's why Trump's choice to lead the USDA matters to you.
Obama has prioritized development of wind and solar in a number of ways, including installation on military bases. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Will President Obama’s clean energy legacy endure?

The Trump administration has the tools to slow the momentum Obama started on clean energy. Countering Trump are global market forces and state-level action.
Will your cellphone be able to communicate with bacteria in your body? Bacteria image via www.shutterstock.com.

Using electricity, not molecules, to switch cells on and off

New research works out how to translate between the language of biology – molecules – and the language of microelectronics – electrons. It could open the door to new kinds of biosensors and therapeutics.
Sister Frances Carr, left, and Brother Arnold Hadd of the Shaker Village sing during a rehearsal on Sept. 13, 1995. AP Photo/Adam Nadel

Why the legacy of Shakers will endure

The Shakers prioritized harmony and a simple lifestyle. They were among the earliest proponents of gender equality.