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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

Idea/Anthropology

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

Idea/Economics

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

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

Essay/Personality

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

Idea/Cosmology

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

Michael Strauss

Essay/History

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

Idea/Death

Ghosts and ghouls haunt the living with a message about life

Thomas W Laqueur

Idea/Race

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

Idea/Education

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

Idea/History

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

Idea/Race

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

Idea/Art

How physics and maths helped create modernist painting

Lynn Gamwell

Idea/History

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

Essay/Ethics

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

Essay/Economics

Growing pains

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

Diane Coyle