Author Archive

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis C. Madrigal
Alexis C. Madrigal is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of "Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology."
Ideas

The Fog of the Pandemic Is Returning

Millions of coronavirus tests may be happening without their results being made public.

Ideas

A New Era of Coronavirus Testing Is About to Begin

A newly authorized test promises to double America’s monthly testing capacity, thanks in part to a huge purchase by the Trump administration. Can the test deliver?

Ideas

The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back

The U.S. has never had enough coronavirus tests. Now a group of epidemiologists, economists, and dreamers is plotting a new strategy to defeat the virus, even before a vaccine is found.

Ideas

A Second Coronavirus Death Surge Is Coming

There was always a logical explanation for why cases rose through the end of June while deaths did not.

Ideas

America Is Giving Up on the Pandemic

Businesses are reopening. Protests are erupting nationwide. But the virus isn’t done with us.

Ideas

The State and Federal Data on COVID-19 Testing Don’t Match Up

The CDC has quietly started releasing nationwide numbers. But they contradict what states themselves are reporting.

Ideas

A New Statistic Reveals Why America’s Coronavirus Numbers Are Flat

Few figures tell you anything useful about how COVID-19 has spread through the U.S. Here’s one that does.

Ideas

How the Coronavirus Became an American Catastrophe

The death and economic damage sweeping the United States could have been avoided—if only we had started testing for the virus sooner.

Threats

The US Has Tested Fewer than 5,000 People for the Coronavirus — and That's a Big Problem

By this point in its outbreak, South Korea had tested more than 100,000 people. The lack of data hurts U.S. government, corporate, and personal attempts to make decisions.

Ideas

The Official Numbers on the Coronavirus Are Wrong, and Everyone Knows It

Because the U.S. data on coronavirus infections are so deeply flawed, the quantification of the outbreak obscures more than it illuminates.

Policy

15 Things We Learned from the Internet Giants

The key takeaways from three days of testimony about Russia’s electoral mischief during the 2016 election.

Science & Tech

The Mysterious Printer Code That May Have Led the FBI to the Alleged NSA Leaker

Many color printers embed grids of dots that allow law enforcement to track every document they output.

Science & Tech

Why DARPA’s Augmented Reality Software Is Better Than Google Glass

A team of DARPA researchers says their technology is succeeding where Google Glass is failing. By Alexis C. Madrigal

Science & Tech

The Future of the Army: Less Soldiers, More Robots, More 'Lethality'

In the future, an Army brigade might have 3,000 human troops instead of 4,000, but a lot more robots. By Alexis C. Madrigal

Science & Tech

This Massive Robot Could Soon Join Marines on the Battlefield

The testing phase of DARPA's new Legged Squad Support System, an autonomous robot that can carry 400 lbs through rugged terrain, is expected to be completed by next summer. By Alexis C. Madrigal

Science & Tech

How the Atomic Bomb Helped Create the Internet

In 1945, The Atlantic's Vannevar Bush's answer to the prospective (and then real) horrors of science-enabled nuclear war -- odd as it may seem -- was to imagine a contraption to aid human knowledge acquisition.