Collage of black hole image, ice sheets, runners, and coffee.
Science & Tech

What we learned

3 min read

Highlights from another year of discovery at Harvard, where inquiring minds are the norm

JAN. 6

Turns out smarter kids are made, not born

Study hints parental mindset about potential for growth yields better outcomes starting from very early age.

JAN. 11

Illustration of woman flourishing.

Healthy? Maybe. But are you flourishing?

The answer, according to a groundbreaking global study, might be more complex than you think.


Remote learning likely widened racial, economic achievement gap

Study finds students in high-poverty districts had much less in-person instruction, lost more ground academically.

MAY 10

Grandma’s workouts may have made you healthier

Joslin study finds exercise during pregnancy may yield metabolic benefits in grandchildren.

MAY 12

Black hole.

First image of black hole at the heart of Milky Way

Pioneering Harvard-led global collaborative unveils latest portrait, bolstering understanding of relativity, gravity.


Sifting the damage of pandemic-era drinking

As studies signal serious health consequences, specialists scramble to treat acute cases and reinforce limits that define moderate use.


Home is where the pipeline ends

Harvard study finds gas stoves could be leaking at least 21 toxic air pollutants.


Coffee is good for you, probably

Professor who edited mortality findings says evidence is strong but not yet definitive.


Ellis Monk

Teaching algorithms about skin tones

Google adopts sociologist’s 10-shade scale, which aims to promote inclusion, diversity, help fix problems in facial recognition, other technologies.


Researchers model life-or-death AC as dangerous temps become norm

Team warns air conditioning access falls far short of what will be needed by 2050 to save lives.


Illustration of person in workout gear carrying cupcake on back.

Gorge today, sweat tomorrow? That’s not how it works.

Researcher outlines fresh data showing that you can’t outrun a bad diet.

AUG. 3

Turns out it’s not who you know now that determines economic success

Big-data study by Raj Chetty, team shows whom you interacted with while growing up is more important.

AUG. 29

Using AI as a pandemic crystal ball

MGH, Broad researchers develop Big Data tool that can predict which variants will likely trigger surges.


Vikram Khurana.

Demystifying Parkinson’s

Researcher details new findings as momentum builds behind treatment efforts: “Every problem looks intractable until it’s solved.”

SEPT. 15

Why are young people so miserable?

They tally lowest life-satisfaction scores among all age groups of those 18 and older in Harvard-led study, reversal of results of past surveys.

SEPT. 21

The secret to a meaningful life is actually no big deal

Across six experiments, including study of moral vs. immoral behavior, researchers explored nuances of feeling fulfilled.

SEPT. 29

Icebergs in Disko Bay, Greenland.

Better predictions on rise of oceans on warming Earth

Harvard team detects first definitive proof of sea level fingerprints from melting of glacial ice sheets.

OCT. 21

Might be a balmy paradise. Might be a face-melting wasteland.

Models scientists use to predict exoplanet atmospheres no match for extraordinary precision of Webb telescope, study says.

NOV. 28

‘Vagina Chip’ allows scientists to test treatments for BV

No preclinical tools had existed to develop new therapies for an infection that afflicts 30 percent of reproductive-aged women globally.

NOV. 30

The Old Synagogue of the medieval Jewish community of Erfurt.

Remains from medieval Jewish cemetery illuminate ‘founder event’

Analysis of ancient DNA co-led by Harvard’s David Reich fills key gaps in understanding of Ashkenazi origins, history.