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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Names for snow | Aeon
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video

Knowledge

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

6 minutes

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

Mutual entrapment | Aeon
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essay

Deep time

Mutual entrapment

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

Mette Løvschal

Can we create the perfect farm? | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

Producing food while restoring the planet – a glimpse of farming in the future

7 minutes

In the gale | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

Yo-Yo Ma performs a work for cello in the woods, accompanied by a birdsong chorus

4 minutes

Keeping our options open | Aeon
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Anthropology

Keeping our options open

Frantic human activity has reduced both cultural and biological diversity. Now we must protect the dwindling alternatives

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Deforest | Aeon
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video

The environment

Photographs of rainforests dissolving in acid strike a beautiful note of warning

10 minutes

Minmini (Fireflies) | Aeon
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video

Ecology and environmental sciences

Experience the dazzling displays that fireflies create when humans are far away

5 minutes

Good fire | Aeon
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video

Ecology and environmental sciences

To renew Yosemite, California should embrace a once-outlawed Indigenous practice

6 minutes

The incredible life of Maria Sibylla Merian | Aeon
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video

Biology

In the jungle of Suriname, Maria Sibylla Merian discovered insect metamorphosis

4 minutes

The Antarctic paradox | Aeon
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Earth science and climate

The Antarctic paradox

The most protected place on Earth has become one of the most threatened – and threatening. Can its problems be solved?

Alejandra Mancilla & Peder Roberts

A new Earth rises | Aeon
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Earth science and climate

A new Earth rises

How did the planet replace the nation-state to become the prime political object of the 21st century?

Erik Isberg

Pyrocene Park | Aeon
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essay

Ecology and environmental sciences

Pyrocene Park

Fire is a planetary feature, not a biotic bug. What can we learn from Yosemite’s experiment to restore natural fire?

Stephen J Pyne

The many disguises of Australian walking sticks | Aeon
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video

Evolution

The master-of-disguise creature whose whole life is an elaborate lie

5 minutes

How to restore a savanna | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

How to restore a savanna

Massive tree-planting programmes have come to substitute for the tradeoffs and complexity of restoring real ecosystems

Francis E (‘Jack’) Putz

Arctic summer | Aeon
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video

Ecology and environmental sciences

Life in one of Canada’s northernmost villages, where the land is sinking into the sea

24 minutes

The Waste Age | Aeon
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Design and fashion

The Waste Age

Recognising that waste is central, not peripheral, to everything we design, make and do is key to transforming the future

Justin McGuirk

Reweaving the wild | Aeon
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essay

Ecology and environmental sciences

Reweaving the wild

Human roads have utterly fragmented the world of wild animals but the engineering to reconnect the pieces is in our grasp

Darryl Jones

Planktonium | Aeon
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video

Biology

Peering into the eerie world of plankton reveals a variety of vital creatures

3 minutes

Defend the deep | Aeon
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essay

Oceans and water

Defend the deep

Instead of letting waves of exploitation sweep through the deep ocean, we could choose to protect this vast living realm

Helen Scales

Living orbs of light | Aeon
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essay

Biology

Living orbs of light

Solving the mystery of how and why fireflies flash in time can illuminate the physics of complex systems

Orit Peleg

The secret language of trees | Aeon
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video

Ecology and environmental sciences

The incredible – and still quite mysterious – way trees trade information via their roots

5 minutes

Why did the Mexican jumping bean jump? | Aeon
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video

Ecology and environmental sciences

How moth larvae carve out cozy, mobile homes inside Mexican jumping beans

4 minutes

Nature’s playbook | Aeon
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essay

Ecology and environmental sciences

Nature’s playbook

From termite queens to the carbon cycle, nature knows how to avoid network collapse. Human designers should pay heed

Ruth DeFries