Essay/History of Ideas

The end is not near

Thanks to science, most of us accept the deep past – so why are our imagined futures so shallow?

J L Schellenberg

Essay/Work

The future is emotional

Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable

Livia Gershon

Idea/Knowledge

The tree of knowledge is not an apple or an oak but a banyan

Jonardon Ganeri

Video/Life Stages

Harlem’s over-55s synchronised swimming team thinks ageing is better in the pool

4 minutes

Ideas make a difference

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Video/Demography & Migration

The island where 50 million crabs roam free and refugees are trapped in limbo

21 minutes

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

Cognitive dissonance helps old dogs with their new tricks

Suzanne Cope

Essay/Quantum Theory

Quantum common sense

Despite its confounding reputation, quantum mechanics both guides and helps explain human intuition

Philip Ball

Video/Nature & Environment

Preventing the all-consuming sound pollution of modern life starts with listening to nature

10 minutes

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Idea/Stories & Literature

So I exaggerate a little – am I wrong to jazz up my stories?

Andrea Askowitz

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

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Essay/Gender & Sexuality

The orgasm cure

What if we could expand ecstasy, reduce stress and lift depression, all by delaying and extending orgasm?

Peter von Ziegesar

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Idea/Economics

Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

Essay/Political Philosophy

Theory from the ruins

The Frankfurt school argued that reason is dangerous, mass culture deadening, and the Enlightenment a disaster. Were they right?

Stuart Walton

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

Video/Cosmology

The Sun – our steady, reliable companion – tells a very different story up close

4 minutes

Idea/Art

Why does contemporary art make for wildly popular blockbusters?

Judith H Dobrzynski

Essay/Politics & Government

The bloodstained leveller

Throughout history, plagues and wars have left greater equality in their wake. Can we get there again without violence?

Walter Scheidel

Video/Love & Friendship

From a 77-year relationship to a first date – a brisk, cheery survey of love

3 minutes

Idea/Ethics

Is it moral to respect the wishes of the dead, above the living?

Barry Lam

Essay/Gender & Sexuality

The orgasm cure

What if we could expand ecstasy, reduce stress and lift depression, all by delaying and extending orgasm?

Peter von Ziegesar

Video/Travel

Castles, croquet and kilts: on the tour bus from China through the photo ops of Britain

10 minutes

Idea/Physics

The idea of creating a new universe in the lab is no joke

Zeeya Merali

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Had a good think lately?

Not busy-work, ticking off to-do lists or keeping-up-with-stuff. Just sitting. And thinking. Is it so hard?

André Spicer

Video/Physics

The mathematics of music means piano strings can never be in perfect harmony

4 minutes

Idea/Medical Ethics

White coats and mild manners: how to style a good doctor

Jessica Baron

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

fAIth

The most avid believers in artificial intelligence are aggressively secular – yet their language is eerily religious. Why?

Beth Singler

Video/Meaning & the Good Life

Late in life, Fred finds joy – and a ‘rhythm in all things’ – through tap dance

6 minutes

Idea/History

The strange story of inventing the ‘bastard’ in medieval Europe

Sara McDougall

Essay/Bioethics

Which lives matter most?

Thinking about children who are not yet born confronts us with the question of our ethical obligations to future people

Dominic Wilkinson & Keyur Doolabh