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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Idea/Cultures & Languages

Language dreams: an ancient tongue awakens in a Jewish baby

Lewis Glinert


It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small

Peter Ungar

Essay/Politics & Government

The bloodstained leveller

Throughout history, plagues and wars have left greater equality in their wake. Can we get there again without violence?

Walter Scheidel


Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett


First impressions count

A judgment of competence is made in a tenth of a second on the basis of facial features. Thus political decisions are made

Alexander Todorov

Idea/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

Quantum cryptography is unbreakable. So is human ingenuity

Joshua Holden


Our Universe is too vast for even the most imaginative sci-fi

Michael Strauss


The Masada mystery

Have archaeologists proven the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert or twisted science for political end?

Eric H Cline


Ghosts and ghouls haunt the living with a message about life

Thomas W Laqueur


Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration

James Q Whitman

Idea/Meaning & the Good Life

Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it’s necessary

Emrys Westacott


Coeducation at university was – and is – no triumph of feminism

Nancy Weiss Malkiel

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence

The end of adolescence

In the 20th century it offered a bridge from the innocence of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. Not any more

Paula S Fass

Idea/Fertility, Pregnancy and Childbirth

Can surrogacy ever escape the taint of global exploitation?

Katharine Dow

Idea/Politics & Government

The right to vote should be restricted to those with knowledge

Jason Brennan


What happened when a Muslim student went to Cambridge in 1816

Nile Green

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Why we must keep the fires of the magical firefly burning

Sara Lewis


Black conservatives do not speak for the black majority

Leah Wright Rigueur

Essay/History of Science

Hazard lines

The Fukushima disaster shows why the line between high and low risk is individual. Can we learn to manage our own safety?

Timothy Jorgensen

Idea/Stories & Literature

How philosophy came to disdain the wisdom of oral cultures

Justin E H Smith

Idea/Political Philosophy

How free market ideology perverts the vocabulary of democracy

Jason Stanley


How physics and maths helped create modernist painting

Lynn Gamwell


The US is a failed state thanks to its system of government

Gary Gerstle

Essay/Political Philosophy

Burke was no conservative

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

Richard Bourke

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Splat goes the theory

Local and organic is a romantic myth – the future of sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up

Louise O Fresco

Essay/History of Ideas

Can God lie?

Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?

Dallas G Denery II


Be not brave

Cowards have been shamed, beaten and shot, yet their failing has an important social function. Let’s hear it for cowardice

Chris Walsh

Essay/Internet & Communication

Know thy selfie

If Narcissus were here he’d be busy on Instagram. Can we have a virtuous sense of worth without the vanity of self-love?

Simon Blackburn

Essay/History of Ideas

Reclaiming liberalism

Liberalism is not dead – its ideals are more important than ever – but it must change radically to survive in the future

Edmund Fawcett


Growing pains

Measure a country purely against its GDP and you neglect the wellbeing of its people. Yet can that be measured?

Diane Coyle