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The tales of two ornithologists trying to prevent birds colliding with windows highlight the obstacles facing applied biology.

September 21, 2013

  • Reviews & Previews

    Behind the Shock Machine

    In 1963, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram reported an appalling discovery: 65 percent of volunteers would deliver electrical shocks to another person at levels they believed were lethal if an experimenter asked them to. Ordinary people, it seemed, could easily be convinced to do monstrous things by authority figures.

    The famous obedience experiment resonated in postwar America, where the trials of Nazi officers were fresh in the public mind. Milgram’s work lent scientific credibility to fears about the human capacity for cruelty, says science writer Perry.

  • Reviews & Previews

    The Nazi and the Psychiatrist

    On New Year’s Day in 1958, after a screaming fight with his wife, U.S. Army psychiatrist Douglas Kelley grabbed a poison pill from his study, shoved it into his mouth and swallowed.

    So begins journalist El-Hai’s investigation into the mind of the man who sought to understand the minds of Nazis. At World War II’s close, Kelley, head of psychiatric services at a military hospital, was given a new task: preserving the mental health of Nazi leaders awaiting trial.

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