The obesity era
As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us
The play deficit
Children today are cossetted and pressured in equal measure. Without the freedom to play they will never grow up
Are coders worth it?
In today’s world, web developers have it all: money, perks, freedom, respect. But is there value in what we do?
How the light gets out
Consciousness is the ‘hard problem’, the one that confounds science and philosophy. Has a new theory cracked it?
Mistresses are big business in China, where no official is a real man without his own ernai. What’s in it for the girls?
Die, selfish gene, die
For decades, the selfish gene metaphor let us view evolution with new clarity. Is it now blinding us?
An inconvenient child
My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom
When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?
Joy in the task
Even the finest restaurants are serving coffee made with capsules. Have we lost faith in the human touch?
Master of many trades
Our age reveres the specialist but humans are natural polymaths, at our best when we turn our minds to many things
Chinese parents bemoan their children’s laziness and greed, but this generation of young people has had enough
The end of sleep?
New technologies are emerging that could radically reduce our need to sleep - if we can bear to use them
The reality show
Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense
One more time
Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains
The very laws of physics imply that artificial intelligence must be possible. What's holding us up?
Bullying doctors are not just unpleasant, they are dangerous. Can we change the culture of intimidation in our hospitals?
The great swindle
From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty
The meanings of life
Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?
The golden age
The 15-hour working week predicted by Keynes may soon be within our grasp – but are we ready for freedom from toil?
Splendid no more
America's national parks are overrun with cars and visitors – what happened to the spirit of wilderness preservation?
Trying to resolve the stubborn paradoxes of their field, physicists craft ever more mind-boggling visions of reality
I love her and it’s a secret. I love her so much it kills me, and you bet I’d sooner die than tell her
With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear
Our quantum problem
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable
Hell on earth
What happens to life sentences if our lifespan is radically extended? A philosopher talks about future punishment
One week, no food
Intrigued by the buzz around medical fasting, I tried it. A rollercoaster of boredom and energy ensued
Is this life real?
Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?
Hot girl #2
Because I'm getting older, my days as a model are numbered – and I'm not sure what to do next
Does life have a purpose?
Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?
Under the influence
How did enlightenment thinkers distinguish between ‘drugs’ and ‘medicines’? And how should we?