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Sunshine in a bottle
Mimic the dance between carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and you can tap into clean solar energy and ease climate change
More than words
Human communication is a glorious chaos. And images, from art to emojis, sometimes say it so much better than language can
Why is simpler better?
Ockham’s Razor says that simplicity is a scientific virtue, but justifying this philosophically is strangely elusive
A gifted child, an adventure, a dark time, and then ... a pivot? How Silicon Valley rewrote America’s redemption narrative
Why Spinoza still matters
At a time of religious zealotry, Spinoza’s fearless defence of intellectual freedom is more timely than ever
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
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
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?
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?
In proof we trust
Blockchain technology will revolutionise far more than money: it will change your life. Here’s how it actually works
Red-hot gay marriage
Gay liberation didn’t begin with marches and political rallies, but with a revolution in thought
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
Richard W Orange
Male flamboyance does more than ruffle a few feathers – it helps the female choose a mate in top metabolic health
Spare the rod
Christian Domestic Discipline and the erotics of religious submission raise the possibility of a new concept of God
Tara Isabella Burton
Who owns the earth?
Private land ownership is a beautiful dream gone badly wrong. It’s time to reinstate the forgotten ideal of the commons
Gravitational wave blues
For a thrilling moment, it looked as though Joe Weber had bagged the biggest discovery in physics
Bridging the Hellespont
In the light of the Syrian refugee crisis, how long can we cling to our traditional ideas of ‘Europe’ and ‘Asia’?
Hail the maintainers
Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more
Lee Vinsel & Andrew Russell
The pleasure of their pain
Why the punishment and humiliation of reality TV contestants provides such a satisfying and deep pleasure
The new astrology
By fetishising mathematical models, economists turned economics into a highly paid pseudoscience
Alan Jay Levinovitz
The ages of distraction
Busy, distracted, inattentive? Everybody has been since at least 1710 and here are the philosophers to prove it
Might nature’s bottomless pits actually be ultra-efficient quantum computers? That could explain why data never dies
Islam’s forgotten bohemians
With its subversive poetry, rejection of politics, and ecstatic rituals, Sufi Islam continues to surprise and to thrive
Beyond cell wars
It is time to disarm the military metaphor of the body as a battleground, with immune cells as the first line of defence
The depths of Okeanos
To the ancient Greeks, Ocean – at once a monster and a god – was what the Big Bang is to cosmologists today
Where do minds belong?
Intelligence could have been moving back and forth between biological beings and machine receptacles for aeons
Is everybody a racist?
The studies just keep coming. Unconscious racism is pervasive. It starts early. And it creates a deadly empathy gap
Could meteorites be akin to lifeboats from other planets? Or do they reveal more about life on Earth than off it?
The heart of the world
The Silk Road – from the Eastern Mediterranean to China’s Pacific shore – is once again the centre of the world
It’s not easy being green
If rational persuasion fails to make people behave environmentally, could rituals and a dash of guilt do a better job?
Sarah Darwin & Stephen Cave
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