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Rituals and celebrations
Death by design

We can chose how we live – why not how we leave? A free society should allow dying to be more deliberate and imaginative

Daniel Callcut

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Nations and empires
Architects of empire

Jesuits knew the miserable truth of European empire in India and Brazil, yet their writings rendered it grandiose and sacred

Ananya Chakravarti

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Cognition and intelligence
Concentrate!

The challenge of chess – learning how to hold complexity in mind and still make good decisions – is also the challenge of life

Jonathan Rowson

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Cradled by therapy

Why therapy works is still up for debate. But, when it does, its methods mimic the attachment dynamics of good parenting

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

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The environment
Habermas and climate action

Jürgen Habermas offers a framework for action on climate change – justice and deliberation are as important as the science

Emilie Prattico

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Virtues and vices
Modesty means more, not less

True modesty is not to be timid or meek but a way of being in the world that means you don’t get in the way of your life

Nicolas Bommarito

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Education
Pluck versus luck

Meritocracy emphasises the power of the individual to overcome obstacles, but the real story is quite a different one

David Labaree

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Animals and humans
Canine exceptionalism

Trainers working with dogs every day have documented extraordinary talents and skills. Will science ever catch up?

Jessica Hekman

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Religion
Science + religion

The science-versus-religion opposition is a barrier to thought. Each one is a gift, rather than a threat, to the other

Tom McLeish

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Deep time
The planet is burning

Wild, feral and fossil-fuelled, fire lights up the globe. Is it time to declare that humans have created a Pyrocene?

Stephen J Pyne

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Sex and sexuality
Being asexual

What is it like to feel love and share physical intimacy yet feel no sexual attraction to the person you are with?

Natasha McKeever & Luke Brunning

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Environmental history
Little Ice Age lessons

The world’s last climate crisis demonstrates that surviving is possible if bold economic and social change is embraced

Dagomar Degroot

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Rituals and celebrations
Divine transports

Whether via music, dance or prayer, the trance state was key to human evolution, forging society around the transcendent

Mark Vernon

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Thinkers and theories
How to be an Epicurean

A philosophy that values innocent pleasure, human warmth and the rewards of creative endeavour. What’s not to like?

Catherine Wilson

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Human evolution
Suspicion makes us human

Conspiracy theories have always been with us, powered by an evolutionary drive to survive. How’s that working for us now?

Jan-Willem van Prooijen

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Mood and emotion
The happiness ruse

How did feeling good become a matter of relentless, competitive work; a never-to-be-attained goal which makes us miserable?

Cody Delistraty

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Animals and humans
Turn and live with animals

The slaughterhouse ethic of Soviet and American whalers tells us we must look beyond communism and capitalism to survive

Bathsheba Demuth

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Knowledge
Mistaken

Assuming that another person’s opinions are immune from criticism is not a marker of respect. It is, in fact, dehumanising

Daniel Ward