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The school of failure

The worst public schools do one thing very well – they teach poor black kids how to stay in the American underclass

by D Watkins

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Why Spinoza still matters

At a time of religious zealotry, Spinoza’s fearless defence of intellectual freedom is more timely than ever

by Steven Nadler

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Physics is on the verge of an Earth-shattering discovery

by Pauline Gagnon

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Dick Proenneke’s 30-year mission of solitary self-sufficiency in Alaska

10 minutes

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Cell growth simulations reveal life-like emergence in stunning digital art

5 minutes

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The medieval senses were transmitters as much as receivers

by Chris Woolgar

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Ghosts and tiny treasures

We are quick to condemn a hunter posing with his prey, but all too slow to cultivate a chronic passion for wild things

by Bryan Pfeiffer

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Do conservative think tanks help to balance policy debates?

by Jason Stahl

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Is the Global Seed Vault in Norway humanity’s last, best hope?

4 minutes

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Enid Blyton, moral guide

The unfashionable world of Blyton’s school stories still has much to say about what it means to live an ethical life

by Nakul Krishna

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Do human bodies carry more toxins now than 50 years ago?

by Matt Limmer

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See real democracy in action – how Chinese third-graders elect a class monitor

Exclusive  •  34 minutes

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A science without time

From past to present, into the future: the flow of time is central to human experience. Why isn’t it central to physics?

by Gene Tracy

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The reason we like the tidy feelings of home is evolutionary

by John Allen

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‘Never wear a hoodie’ and other crucial rules for birding while black

2 minutes

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Why is death bad?

Even without a hereafter, dying gets a bad rap. But why exactly is it no good – because of what happens, or what doesn’t?

by Eric Olson

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When does the future begin? A study in maximising motivation

by Daphna Oyserman

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A neurologist finds peace and happiness in the feeling of constant acceleration

16 minutes

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In proof we trust

Blockchain technology will revolutionise far more than money: it will change your life. Here’s how it actually works

by Dominic Frisby

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Why this Southern conservative supports Black Lives Matter

by John D Wilsey

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From the US to China and back again by age six. Why ‘satellite babies’ struggle

Exclusive  •  9 minutes

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Red-hot gay marriage

Gay liberation didn’t begin with marches and political rallies, but with a revolution in thought

by Jim Downs

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How the orchestra is arranged by the biology of the brain

by Richard Kunert

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Basketball in the Yukon – how sport is helping revitalise culture and community

17 minutes

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Did Rousseau have ADHD?

Rousseau’s non-linear style of thought, restless spirit and chaotic mood swings also made him one of history’s greats

by Richard W Orange