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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

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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

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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

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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

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Work
Utopia now

In 1890 William Morris imagined a world free from wage slavery. Thanks to technology, his vision is finally within reach

Vasilis Kostakis & Wolfgang Drechsler

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Stories & Literature
Communist robot dreams

Tech flourished in communist Bulgaria and so did a body of science fiction asking vital philosophical questions

Victor Petrov

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Values & Beliefs
Human nature matters

The only way to construct a robust philosophy for life is to have a clear and realistic picture of what makes humans tick

Skye C Cleary & Massimo Pigliucci

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Mental Health
Temperamentally blessed

Just one in five people will be lucky enough to avoid mental health problems throughout their life. How do they do it?

Elizabeth Svoboda

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Genetics
Haunted by history

War, famine and persecution inflict profound changes on bodies and brains. Could these changes persist over generations?

Pam Weintraub

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Medical Research
Viral rescue

When antibiotics fail, could phage therapy succeed? The germ’s-eye view of infection might open up revolutionary treatments

Emily Monosson

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Politics & Government
Everyday politics

Imperial Chinese conscription shows how ordinary people exercise influential political skills, even in a repressive state

Michael Szonyi

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Knowledge
Escape the echo chamber

First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult

C Thi Nguyen

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History of Science
What is good science?

Demanding that a theory is falsifiable or observable, without any subtlety, will hold science back. We need madcap ideas

Adam Becker

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Law & Justice
Facing time

Behind bars in Texas, I saw masculinity in all its violence and vulnerability. Was this the war that men had primed me for?

Steven Powers

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Future of Technology
Fuelling the future

Fantasies about new power sources for human ambitions go back a century or more. Could these past visions energise our own future?

Iwan Rhys Morus