History of Science



Along the walls of the orientation theater, in an alcove off the lobby of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum Visitor Center, hang seven murals illustrating the history of the land on which they rest. Each of the nearly six-foot-long paintings vividly depicts a segment of the Arboretum’s history, from its ancestry […]

The Essence of the Arboretum


This year the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is celebrating the centennial of two major achievements: the discoveries of vitamin B and the link between goiter and iodine. These two important scientific achievements, as well as the stories, personalities, and controversies that accompanied them changed the field of […]

Looking back 100 years at two major biochemistry discoveries




Planetary nebula NGC 2818, a gaseous shroud of a dying, sun-like star in the southern constellation Pyxis.
Putting telescopes and astronomical instruments in space has long been a UW-Madison specialty. Since at least the early 1960s, when the late Wisconsin astronomer Arthur D. Code devised a cigar-box sized photometer for the X-15, the first rocket-powered plane to soar briefly in space, UW-Madison has been developing hardware – […]

Hubble and beyond




Pluto from New Horizons
For nearly 10 years, the New Horizons spacecraft has been charging through space – the fastest spacecraft ever launched – on track to reach the icy outer edge of our solar system. The Kuiper Belt, as this area is known, is full of objects from icy boulder-sized rocks to dwarf planets […]

New Horizons takes a portrait of Pluto


Papers, brochures, cups, calendars on table
MADISON – Thursday, July 2, 2015 Articles and objects representing the University of Wisconsin-Madison circa 2015 were boxed and buried under the new maple floor in the center of the rotunda in Bascom Hall. Bascom, the third-oldest building at UW-Madison, is University headquarters. Carpenters for Bachmann Construction, Madison, sealed the box […]

Time capsule entombed in Bascom Hall at UW-Madison


Mastodon skull on cart
Many of Wisconsin’s most charismatic fossils are of Ice Age megafauna. The Boaz mastodon is Exhibit A. On display at the UW-Madison Geology Museum since 1915, the elephant like mastodon was recently discovered to be a composite of fossil material collected not only at Boaz, a sleepy town just off […]

A Legacy of Pleistocene Megafauna