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In the beginning

Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?

by Ross Andersen

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Life on Mars

In a white dome on a bare mountain, six of us are road-testing life in a Martian colony. This is what I’ve learned so far

by Sheyna Gifford

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Doing more with less: the economic lesson of Peak Paper

by John Quiggin

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How do polar bears find their love match? Flirty play in the snow till they drop

4 minutes

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If, as Shakespeare suggested, all the world’s a stage, do we have a ‘true self’?

2 minutes

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The significance of football in the fight over what is France

by Tony Karon

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The migrant’s tale

Sure it’s progressive to sympathise with young undocumented migrants, but it also locks them into a victimhood narrative

by Sarah Menkedick

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The urge to explore is what drives us to land on alien worlds

by Chris McKay

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Creepy masks, boozy baths and chicken chases: the mayhem of Courir de Mardi Gras

11 minutes

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High five!

Why, in the entire history of human life, did awesomeness become the great virtue of our age (and suckiness its vice)?

by Nick Riggle

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Standard interrogation techniques lead to false confessions

by Douglas Starr

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Finding alien life raises huge ethical questions. Finding we’re alone does, too

Interview  •  6 minutes

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It’s not just your imagination. Horror films are much more scary than they were in the past. Here’s how they do it

by Patricia Pisters

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Human evolution is more a muddy delta than a branching tree

by John Hawks

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Heated rivalries and (pigeon) sex: the passionate world of Scottish doo fleein’

17 minutes

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A fake of art

Museums display perfect reproductions of fragile works and visitors can’t tell the difference. Is nothing in art sacred?

by Noah Charney

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How looting in Iraq unearthed the treasures of Gilgamesh

by Andrew George

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Let the Sun’s invisible solar winds wash over you in ultra high-definition video

30 minutes

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Lessons of Demopolis

Wisdom from classical Greece: democracy and liberalism are both better off if we understand the difference between them

by Josiah Ober

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What lies behind the myth of the strong, self-reliant loner?

by Kimberley Brownlee

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Refugees flee to Australia only to be detained in squalid and abusive conditions

15 minutes

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Dispatches from the ruins

The human world has become bafflingly complex and strangely fragile making apocalypse the easiest thing to imagine

by Frank Bures

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Don’t ‘do’ the National Parks – let them do something to you

by Tom Winterbottom

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A bird-of-paradise must become a lord of the dance to woo a discerning mate

2 minutes

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The superfluid Universe

Quantum effects are not just subatomic: they can be expressed across galaxies, and solve the puzzle of dark matter

by Sabine Hossenfelder