Why do we fantasise about talking to animals?
Does a culture of entitlement explain US mass shootings?
Are we ready for companies that run themselves?
Technological progress makes us more vulnerable to catastrophe
From Aesop to doge
The animal who speaks in a human voice is a figure of the most enduring imaginative power. What do we hope to hear?
It is easy to think that mass shooters are simply monsters but that is just a way to duck our shared responsibility
Get ready for companies that run themselves. But will the autonomous economy set us all free, or just make the rich richer?
A fault in our design
We tend to think that technological progress is making us more resilient, but it might be making us more vulnerable
A new wave of videogames offers lessons in powerlessness, scarcity and inevitable failure. What makes them so compelling?
A circus of the senses
It makes letters colourised and numbers pulsate with cosmic time: a rare gift, or are we all on the synaesthetic spectrum?
Pretty in pink
My two-year-old daughter already knows that pink is for girls. And she loves it. Why does that make me see red?
Our latest message to ET could be full of LOLcats and celebs. We should try to do better, or keep quiet altogether
Cover of darkness
The cypherpunks are winning the second crypto-war against government spies. What will happen when everyone is anonymous?
Boys and girls alike
An un-consenting child, an unnecessary, invasive surgery: is there any moral difference between male and female circumcision?
The power of story
Across time and culture, stories have been agents of personal transformation – in part because they change our brains
The music in you
You might not be a virtuoso, but you have remarkable music abilities. You just don’t know about them yet
The invasion of America
The story of Native American dispossession is too easily swept aside, but new visualisations should make it unforgettable
Women in their 30s and 40s exhibit a mix of wishful thinking and woeful ignorance when it comes to their fertility. Why?
Science is discovering what religion has always known: forgiveness is good for us. But that doesn’t make it any easier
Indifference is a power
As legions of warriors and prisoners can attest, Stoicism is not grim resolve but a way to wrest happiness from adversity
The retraction war
Scientists seek demigod status, journals want blockbuster results, and retractions are on the rise: is science broken?
A change is gonna come
The great civil rights song turns 50 – the political made personal, and heartbreak transmuted into fiery action
There are few fantasies so absurd as the idea of living on through fame. So why does immortality still beckon?
No island is an island
Islands are a natural laboratory for science, they gave us evolution. But isolation is no model for a cosmopolitan age
Framed by forensics
Junky, out-of-date science fuels jury errors and tragic miscarriages of justice. How can we throw it out of court?
Nobody wants a protracted, dehumanised death: why is it still so easy for doctors to ignore a dying patient's wishes?
Talk like an Egyptian
If we want to safeguard our languages, stories and ideas against extinction, we had better study Egyptology
The gene that jumped
Genes that leap from one species to another are more common than we thought. Does this shake up the tree of life?
Social progress, high-speed transport and electricity everywhere – how the Victorians invented the future
Misunderstanding risk factors has led to massive overtreatment of diseases people don’t have and probably never will
The modern wedding
A white gown, a grand reception, a multi-tiered cake – the stuff of a traditional wedding or something else entirely?
For decades, the idea of a language instinct has dominated linguistics. It is simple, powerful and completely wrong