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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
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Physics

Is it possible to design a shape to roll along any fixed path?

4 minutes

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essay

Evolution

Kinship

Science must become attuned to the subtle conversations that pervade all life, from the primordial to the present

David Waltner-Toews

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Biotechnology

The two women behind a world-changing scientific discovery

14 minutes

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History of technology

Indexing the information age

Over a weekend in 1995, a small group gathered in Ohio to unleash the power of the internet by making it navigable

Monica Westin

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Animals and humans

Ant geopolitics

Over the past four centuries quadrillions of ants have created a strange and turbulent global society that shadows our own

John Whitfield

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Computing and artificial intelligence

Frontier AI ethics

Generative agents will change our society in weird, wonderful and worrying ways. Can philosophy help us get a grip on them?

Seth Lazar

Close-up of an orange Mercedes car with the focus on the front tyre, which is inscribed with ‘In Crypto We Trust’
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Economics

The cruelty of crypto

Selling itself as the new American dream, crypto exposes the vulnerable to fraud and scams, and loads risk onto the poor

Rachel O’Dwyer

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Medicine

Why surgery and barbering were one occupation in the Middle Ages

6 minutes

A measure for depth of water stands upright in a dried up landscape that was formerly a lake
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Information and communication

Beware climate populism

The most ardent deniers of anthropogenic climate change today will become the climate conspiracy theorists of tomorrow

Ákos Szegőfi

A double-exposure image of a dancer on stage against a black backdrop, his body is lit and partly shot in motion blur
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Genetics

Artists of our own lives

The genome is the starting point for a performance we enact over a lifetime, not a blueprint we’ve got to follow

Richard O Prum

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Space exploration

Mind-bending speed is the only way to reach the stars – here are three ways to do it

5 minutes

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Biography and memoir

As her world unravels, Pilar wonders at the ‘sacred geometry’ that gives it structure

20 minutes

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Meaning and the good life

Why strive? Stephen Fry reads Nick Cave’s letter on the threat of computed creativity

5 minutes

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Physics

Find the building blocks of nature within a single, humble snowflake

4 minutes

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Space exploration

Capturing the cosmos

When self-replicating craft bring life to the far Universe, a religious cult, not science, is likely to be the driving force

Jay Olson

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History of science

The missing conversation

To the detriment of the public, scientists and historians don’t engage with one another. They must begin a new dialogue

Lorraine Daston & Peter Harrison

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Physics

Why the golden age of total solar eclipses is already behind us

5 minutes

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Film and visual culture

An augmented-reality filter reveals the hidden movements all around us

7 minutes

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Earth science and climate

When does after begin?

Three earthquakes hit Mexico City on the same date in 1985, 2017 and 2022. The coincidence left the city stranded in time

Lachlan Summers

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Film and visual culture

Stop-motion origami unfurls in a playful exploration of how senses overlap

3 minutes

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War and peace

The two Chomskys

The US military’s greatest enemy worked in an institution saturated with military funding. How did it shape his thought?

Chris Knight

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History of science

The rights of the dead

From the Irish Giant to the Ancient One, is it ever ethical for scientists and museums to study bodies without permission?

Anita Guerrini

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Ecology and environmental sciences

The ancient Hawaiian myth that sparked a modern ecological breakthrough

10 minutes

The International Space Station is seen at an angle through a window against the darkness of space
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Space exploration

The skyhook solution

Space junk surrounds Earth, posing a dangerous threat. But there is a way to turn the debris into opportunity

Angelos Alfatzis