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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Thriving on Mars | Aeon
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essay

Astronomy

Thriving on Mars

Dust storms, long distances and freezing temperatures make living on Mars magnificently challenging. How will we do it?

Simon Morden

Where God dwelt | Aeon
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History of science

Where God dwelt

For hundreds of years, Christians knew exactly where heaven was: above us and above the stars. Then came the new cosmologists

Stephen Case

Why did consciousness evolve? | Aeon
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video

Evolution

Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness

5 minutes

Moral mathematics | Aeon
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Ethics

Moral mathematics

Subjecting the problems of ethics to the cool quantifications of logic and probability can help us to be better people

Elad Uzan

Our Earth, shaped by life | Aeon
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Earth science and climate

Our Earth, shaped by life

Darwin was the first to see that all lifeforms, from worms to corals, transform the planet. What does that mean for us?

Olivia Judson

Ed Yong: the hidden world of animal senses | Aeon
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video

Biology

To understand the limits of human senses, look to the wild world of animal cognition

45 minutes

Cogitating black holes | Aeon
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Cosmology

Cogitating black holes

The Universe cannot always be understood through observation. Instead, physicists explore by devising thought experiments

Michael Dine

Cast out with love | Aeon
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Design and fashion

From sheep to sea – an ode to the iconic sweater that warms Cornish sailors

4 minutes

The helpful delusion | Aeon
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Mental health

The helpful delusion

Evidence is growing that mental illness is more than dysfunction, with enormous implications for treatment

Justin Garson

Names for snow | Aeon
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Knowledge

Yes, the Inuit have dozens of words for snow – but what does each one mean exactly?

6 minutes

Using the Astronomicum Caesareum book | Aeon
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History of science

How one of history’s most beautiful books was used to find fate in the cosmos

6 minutes

The science of symmetry | Aeon
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Evolution

Symmetry rules life on Earth – but it comes with many fascinating exceptions

9 minutes

Moths and beetles in slow-motion flight | Aeon
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Biology

There’s no one way for an insect to fly, but they’re all amazing in close up and slo-mo

7 minutes

A dinosaur is a story | Aeon
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Palaeontology

A dinosaur is a story

As Brontosaurus tells us, in science as in fiction, the stories we tell to understand the world are always being revised

Nathaniel Goldberg & Chris Gavaler

A singular scientist | Aeon
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History of science

A singular scientist

James Lovelock was a visionary whose greatest ideas were made possible by his unshakeable independence

Roger Highfield

Tomorrow’s corals | Aeon
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Oceans and water

Tomorrow’s corals

A warming planet and acid oceans will radically transform marine ecosystems. How will our beloved reefs survive?

Klaus M Stiefel & James D Reimer

Telescopes on the Moon | Aeon
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Space exploration

Telescopes on the Moon

Our future in space relies on settling the Moon and using it as a base to probe the deepest questions in the cosmos

Joseph Silk

Mutual entrapment | Aeon
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Deep time

Mutual entrapment

As Neolithic people transformed prehistoric forests, they stumbled into an ecological trap. Domestication goes both ways

Mette Løvschal

The Boltzmann brain paradox | Aeon
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video

Logic and probability

Is it more likely you’re a person with a past, or an ephemeral brain in a void?

6 minutes

Brilliant noise | Aeon
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video

Astronomy

Raw solar-storm footage is the punk-rock antidote to sleek James Webb imagery

6 minutes

Seeing and somethingness | Aeon
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Consciousness and altered states

Seeing and somethingness

An evolutionary approach to consciousness can resolve the ‘hard problem’ – with radical implications for animal sentience

Nicholas Humphrey

Fortune favours the shrewd | Aeon
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Evolution

Fortune favours the shrewd

Attaining and maintaining power lies at the heart of almost all animal societies. And it’s as devious as human politicking

Lee Alan Dugatkin

Wrought | Aeon
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video

Biology

Dazzling timelapse shows how microbes spoil our food – and sometimes enrich it

22 minutes

Why whale song is like pop music | Aeon
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Biology

Like pop music, humpback whale songs spread, mutate, and fall out of fashion

9 minutes