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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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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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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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Neurothriller

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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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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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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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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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

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Kinky cutie

My father was hopelessly, joyously addicted to gambling and I his moral critic. Why did I end up playing pro blackjack?

by Marina Benjamin

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A tyrannosaur of one’s own

Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more – film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?

by Laurie Gwen Shapiro

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My secret life

Parents expect to know everything about their children’s lives. They need to remember that secrets are part of growing up

by Tiffany Jenkins

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Return of the mercenaries

Two centuries ago, public armies replaced private ones as the dominant tool of warfare. Now, private armies are back

by Sean McFate

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Work imitates life

The utopian workplace is here, complete with roof gardens, therapists and time to nap. Can the employee ever escape?

by Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

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Riding the wind

Hot and bothersome or exhilarating and wild: winds blow through the mind as strongly as they blow through the landscape

by Karen Emslie

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Ask the aged

Who better to answer questions about the purpose of life than someone who has been living theirs for a long time?

by Karl Pillemer

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The hunger mood

Hunger isn’t in your stomach or your blood-sugar levels. It’s in your mind – and that’s where we need to shape up

by Michael Graziano

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To boldly sell

Space is for sale. And if we want to get serious about our interplanetary ambitions, that could be a good thing

by Grayson Clary

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Spoken in scent

A hidden sense of smell might account for the mysterious sixth sense and a universe of subtle knowledge about the world

by Elizabeth Preston

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Why pray?

Prayer occurs in many faiths. It stays recognisable despite its varied forms. It must be good for something – but what?

by Benjamin Dueholm

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Our chemical Eden

To figure out the origin of life might take a conceptual shift towards seeing it as a pattern of molecular energy

by Tim Requarth

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Natural-born paedophiles

Some paedophiles might be hard-wired to commit their abusive acts. Should that alter their crime in the eyes of the law?

by Caren Chesler

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Dark books

What’s more wholesome than reading? Yet books wield a dangerous power: the best erode self, infecting readers with ideas

by Tara Isabella Burton

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Epic fails

Great theories can spend decades waiting for verification. Failed theories do too. Is there any way to tell them apart?

by Thomas Levenson

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Roots and genes

‘Roots’ sparked an African-American quest for identity through family history. Does DNA finally provide firm grounds?

by Alondra Nelson

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Is it OK to have kids?

Your decision about whether to procreate is serious. That makes it philosophy’s business, alarming as that might sound

by Richard Chappell

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Sky readers

For most of human history, the stars told us where we were in space and time. Have we forgotten how to look up?

by Gene Tracy

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Burke was no conservative

Edmund Burke’s support for the American Revolution, and opposition to the French, have been misunderstood

by Richard Bourke

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The cold fusion horizon

Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it?

by Huw Price

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In praise of defiance

Labelling someone crazy and difficult is a way to resist justice and change – and psychiatrists are complicit

by Carrie Arnold

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Rise of the humanities

Professors worry about the ‘crisis in the humanities’. But more people than ever, especially women, are studying them

by Peter Mandler