Smithsonian Magazine



Science of Motherhood

I was fascinated by what was discovered in the bodies and brains of experiment­al animals and how they reacted (“The Making of a Mom,” May 2021). I guess the maternal instinct goes further than we thought.

— Lois Sobel | Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Desert Artwork

James Turrell is comparable to Nikola Tesla (“The Light Fantastic,” May 2021). He has the ability to hold visions of completed projects in his imaginatio­n and knows exactly what processes are needed to finish those endeavors to his standards. He is obviously a human who is at minimum a century ahead of the rest of us in his thinking.

— Daniel Durnam | Belgrade, Montana

Turrell is truly a genius. I would love to see and experience this place. Such a unique creation. I would hope it will be accessible to all people, not just the financiall­y prosperous. Too much of this world is only available to those with money. We all have brains and senses: We all should be able to use them.

— Paula Summers | Fair Oaks, California

Making News

Yes, neutrality is an unattainab­le goal (“Eyewitness to History,” May 2021), but if we ever stop trying to attain this goal, we will be in serious trouble. Back in the mid-19th century, there were relatively few unbiased news sources available and the Associated Press filled a real need. The need still exists. I hope someone will continue to stumble after this elusive ideal even in our current jungle of opinionate­d views.

— Joe Cramer | Hendersonv­ille, North Carolina

Riveting Image

The grand prize photo by Skyler Wilson (“Silence Speaks,” May 2021) riveted my attention. The gaze of the two Oglala Lakota Nation sisters protesting missing and murdered indigenous women and girls pierced my heart and soul.

— C.J. Drake | Philomath, Oregon

Cry of the Wolf

Thank you for “The Wolf That Discovered the Golden State” (April 2021). This is the kind of communicat­ion needed to bring to light an existentia­l crisis for wolves across no fewer than five Western states. If these were pandas or even orcas, the public would not stand for what is going on, but wolves have long been mischaract­erized. Wolves are highly intelligen­t and social creatures that play an important role in the wild. There are effective nonlethal deterrents available for responsibl­e ranchers.

— Robert Hungate | via email

Service Dolphins

It is long past time for the Navy to retire its dolphins and sea lions for military use (“Military Mammals,” April 2021). It is immoral for us to use animals as intelligen­t and gentle as dolphins to fight our human wars. — Mark J. Palmer | Earth Island Institute,

Berkeley, California

Smithsonia­n thanks you for your subscripti­on, which supports the Smithsonia­n Institutio­n’s unique mission to explore the natural world, celebrate the arts and connect Americans to their history.

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