Essay/Stories & Literature

When robots read books

Artificial intelligence sheds new light on classic texts. Literary theorists who don’t embrace it face obsolescence

Inderjeet Mani

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Essay/Nutrition & Exercise

Is this medical bulimia?

A new medical device enables the expulsion of stomach contents for weight loss. Are you feeling disgusted? Should you be?

Nitin Ahuja

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Idea/Biology

What the death of an oak tree can teach us about mortality

Gabriel Popkin

Video/Chemistry

Peek into the chemical nursery where metal crystals are born and bred

3 minutes

Ideas can change the world

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Video/Space Exploration

Could we make a home on Mars? It would be a very unique psychological situation

3 minutes

Idea/Education

Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills

Carl Hendrick

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Essay/Ethics

Honestly, it’s fine!

Tight-lipped, frosty and fake, the passive-aggressive person never quite takes the blame. Is this always a bad thing?

Rebecca Roache

Video/Demography & Migration

How we became more than 7 billion – humanity’s population explosion, visualised

6 minutes

Idea/Art

If culture is too expensive for most, everyone pays a price

Jonathan R Goodman

Essay/The Home

Nobody is home

From the footloose networker to the exiled migrant, home has been displaced by an idea that’s both elusive and contested

Charles Leadbeater

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Essay/Work

Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

James Livingston

Essay/Genetics

Unified theory of evolution

Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck

Michael Skinner

Essay/The Home

Nobody is home

From the footloose networker to the exiled migrant, home has been displaced by an idea that’s both elusive and contested

Charles Leadbeater

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Essay/Stories & Literature

Full-body reading

Literary criticism taught me to scrub my feelings out of my reading, but a medieval mystic showed me how to put them back in

Anna Wilson

Video/Earth Science

Battling sexism and dissension, Marie Tharp changed how we understand the Earth

5 minutes

Idea/Religion

Black atheists matter: how women freethinkers take on religion

Christopher Cameron

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Essay/Poverty & Development

The harvests of Chernobyl

Thirty years after the nuclear disaster, local berry-pickers earn a good living. What’s the hidden cost of their wares?

Kate Brown Olha Martynyuk

Idea/Political Philosophy

What would Leibniz say about the schisms in Europe today?

Maria Rosa Antognazza

Video/Love & Friendship

Fighting the tide: a Louisiana bayou couple’s 70 bittersweet years of marriage

13 minutes

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Essay/Genetics

Wild thing

How and why did humans domesticate animals – and what might this tell us about the future of our own species?

Jacob Mikanowski

Idea/Neuroscience

Final decision? Why the brain keeps on changing its mind

Stephen Fleming

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Video/Chemistry

Obsession and electricity: a scientist chases the origins of life in the lab

16 minutes

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Essay/Work

Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

James Livingston

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Idea/Meaning & the Good Life

Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary

Emrys Westacott

Video/Stories & Literature

Leonard Cohen turns an erotic fantasy that wasn’t into a sleepless night’s work

6 minutes

Essay/History of Ideas

How not to be a chucklehead

Saturday mornings with J L Austin in postwar Oxford were a golden time for wordplay, silly jokes and serious philosophy

Nakul Krishna

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Idea/Cosmology

Has dogma derailed the scientific search for dark matter?

Pavel Kroupa

Video/History of Science

Science doesn’t rely on luck, but success in science can’t do without it

5 minutes

Essay/Mental Health

The lizard inside

Like a reptile lodged within me, paranoia hatches unbelievable conspiracies that my mind embraces with stunning naivety

Roberta Payne

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