Why boring streets make pedestrians stressed and unhappy
What is the moral worth of rescuing individual wild animals?
Best way to solve homelessness? Give people homes
Can you be obese and healthy? Maybe, but not for long
Streets with no game
Boring cityscapes increase sadness, addiction and disease-related stress. Is urban design a matter of public health?
Every living thing
Why shower precious resources on rescuing individual animals while habitats are destroyed and whole species disappear?
Homes for the homeless
San Francisco’s homeless are harangued and despised while conservative Utah has a radically humane approach
Fat but fit?
The medical evidence is overwhelming – obesity is bad for you and it would be a major mistake to give up fighting it
When the truth hurts
The truth about health or personal relationships can entail pain and regret. Is it sometimes better to stay in the dark?
Was I raped?
Brutal assaults by strangers are unambiguous. But what should a woman do when she is the victim of an ‘almost rape’?
The end of walking
In Orwellian fashion, Americans have been stripped of the right to walk, challenging their humanity, freedom and health
Digital star chamber
Algorithms are producing profiles of you. What do they say? You probably don’t have the right to know
Rock of ages
Archaeologists used to be obsessed with religion. Now they can’t be bothered with it. Is the field worse off?
There may be no watertight definition of ‘man’ or ‘woman’, but your gender still defines you more than anything else does
Canon of taste
Can we restore the world’s culinary masterpieces by rescuing the lost ingredients and flavours that inspired them?
The hacker hacked
The hacker ethos is wild and anarchic, indifferent to the trappings of success. Or it was, until the gentrifiers moved in
Is that my baby?
Sperm donation is socially acceptable but donor eggs still provoke a wave of unease about blood relations and motherhood
It might be pleasing to dream of arcologies, mega-cities, and space colonies – but no one can design the perfect human community
A remote island, an Arctic expedition, a one-way trip to Mars – what drives our urge to explore the farthest reaches?
We have this powerful sense that death is a transition, not an end. Why can’t we imagine a world without us?
The quiet alarm
Just like pain, boredom is an aversive and unpleasant experience that we need to have in order to truly live well
What lies beneath
Why do archaeological fraudsters work so hard to deceive us? Because bad science makes for good stories
To honour donors, we should harvest organs that have the best chance of helping others – before, not after, death
Not born this way
Other liberation movements have rejected the idea that biology is destiny. So why should gay rights depend on it?
Into the deep
Just when you crave one more sensual hit, the void of the float tank stops time, strips ego and unleashes the mind
To heaven and back
Is the heaven tourism memoir spiritual kitsch for the superficial seeker, or an earnest attempt to wrestle with death?
You can do it, baby!
Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous
Life without design
Constructor theory is a new vision of physics, but it helps to answer a very old question: why is life possible at all?
Are professional ethicists good people? According to our research, not especially. So what is the point of learning ethics?
Where’s Bobbi Fischer?
Little girls sign up to play chess in droves. So why are so few of the world’s top players women?
We could build an artificial brain that believes itself to be conscious. Does that mean we have solved the hard problem?
Alien life forms might be living right under our noses, but how can we find them if we don’t know what we’re looking for?