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To tell the truth

Photo: William Bleckwenn

The use of a chemical to induce people to tell the truth was first tested in the 1920s by UW psychiatrist William Bleckwenn. His experiments with narcoanalysis — or psychotherapy conducted under the influence of drugs — laid the foundation for the modern field of psychopharmacology and sparked international interest in the power of a syringe to expose hidden secrets. His work also put forth a radical idea. Where before, inventions such as the lie detector allowed for the scientific measurement of volunteered information, a truth serum suggested that science could actually produce honesty.

Top Stories

Upgrade sought for crowded, dated Chemistry Building

Photo: Faucet in chemistry lab

The lab facilities in the Chemistry Building have served students well over the last 50 years, but are now crowded, dated and in need of a major overhaul. The university is seeking state approval for a new Chemistry Building to replace what one department leader calls in this video "an embarrassment."

EPA funds research on how toxins affect the body

Graphic: EPA logo

William Murphy is leading a team of researchers who received $6 million from the Environmental Protection Agency. They will work to rapidly advance knowledge of the health effects of today's ever-growing assortment of environmental toxins.

Around Campus

Automation to corral big data in astronomy

Photo illustration: Square Kilometer Array

The Square Kilometer Array, a radio telescope planned for Africa and Australia, will have an unprecedented ability to deliver data on the location and properties of stars, galaxies and giant clouds of hydrogen gas. How does one analyze this torrent of information? UW scientists have developed a new way.

BuzzFeed’s Vergano to be Science Writer in Residence

Photo: Dan Vergano

Dan Vergano, a veteran journalist at USA Today, National Geographic and now, the digital news platform BuzzFeed, has been named Science Writer in Residence for Spring 2015. Vergano will spend the week of April 5 on campus working with students, faculty and staff, and delivering a public lecture.

Inside Info

Best medicine? Laughter can help your health

Photo: Shilagh Mirgain

According to an Irish proverb, "A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book." UW Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain says there's something to that: "Laughter ... relaxes muscles, improves circulation, eases pain, reduces stress and enhances the immune system."  


Two honored as outstanding returning adult undergrads

Photo: Jolene Enge

Patrick Dunn enlisted in the Marines during high school but eventually decided to fulfill a dream by going back to school at the UW. Jolene Enge left college after only a few semesters. Years later, she decided to return to school. Now, Dunn and Enge are being recognized for their achievements.

In the Media

All seriousness aside, Badgers can have fun — and win

Photo: Josh Gasser

USA Today yucks it up with the Badger basketball team in a feature about how the often solemn-faced players keep things light while taking their business on the court seriously. "It's important to have fun," Josh Gasser tells the paper. "The looser we play, the better we are."


TV’s ‘MeatEater’ to make UW appearance

Photo: Steve Rinella

Steven Rinella, award-winning author and host of the hit TV show “MeatEater,” will give a talk the evening of April 14 to discuss his outdoor adventures and his life as a modern day hunter-gatherer. An avid outdoorsman and writer, Rinella will chronicle his lifelong relationship with nature and hunting.


Everyone ready for spring break?

Image: Recent issue of Inside UW

We are! Inside UW-Madison will take next week off and return April 7. Whether you're traveling, relaxing at home, or just enjoying the shorter line for a scoop of Union Utopia, we hope your spring break is refreshing.

Get Involved: Submit an idea, link or photo to Inside UW–Madison.