Essay/
Philosophy of Science
Our quantum problem

When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

Adrian Kent

Essay/
Politics & Government
How nations stay together

Nations come with a vast array of peoples, languages and histories, but the strong ones share three simple things

Andreas Wimmer

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Essay/
Art
Is it really a Leonardo?

Forensics can't be sure. Provenance can be fudged. This is why the expert eye still rules the game of art authentication

Noah Charney

Essay/
Poverty & Development
What good is religion?

International development has focussed on material goods, but religion has an important role to play in human flourishing

Manini Sheker

Popular this month

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

Essay/
History
The forgotten prophet

Radical Quaker Benjamin Lay was a pioneer of abolitionism, who lived what he preached. So why was he erased from history?

Marcus Rediker

Essay/
Beauty & Aesthetics
The puzzle of beauty

Rather than a golden ratio or a moral judgment, beauty is more like a radical jolt that awakens us to the world

Shahidha Bari

Essay/
Astronomy
Our aquatic universe

We know that the universe is awash with watery moons and planets. How can we pinpoint which of them could support life?

Tim Folger

Essay/
History of Science
Behold: science as seeing

One astronomer’s dimpled pie is another’s cratered moon. How can our mind’s eye learn to see the new and unexpected?

Gene Tracy

Essay/
Mood & Emotion
The myth of ‘mad’ genius

The Romantic stereotype that creativity is enhanced by a mood disorder is dangerous, and dissolves under careful scrutiny

Christa L Taylor

Essay/
Old Age & Death
Die like a dog

Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans?

Joseph Pierre

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
Gesture talks

Across vast cultural divides people can understand one another through gesture. Does that make it a universal language?

Kensy Cooperrider