History of science

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Astronomy Biology Biotechnology Chemistry Computing and artificial intelligence Cosmology Deep time Earth science and climate Ecology and environmental sciences Engineering Evolution Genetics History of science Human evolution Human reproduction Illness and disease Mathematics Medicine Oceans and water Palaeontology Physics Quantum theory Space exploration
Future of technology
The golden quarter

Some of our greatest cultural and technological achievements took place between 1945 and 1971. Why has progress stalled?

Michael Hanlon

Human reproduction
The macho sperm myth

The idea that millions of sperm are on an Olympian race to reach the egg is yet another male fantasy of human reproduction

Robert D Martin

The new astrology

By fetishising mathematical models, economists turned economics into a highly paid pseudoscience

Alan Jay Levinovitz

Future of technology
Hail the maintainers

Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more

Andrew Russell & Lee Vinsel

The problem with p-values

Academic psychology and medical testing are both dogged by unreliability. The reason is clear: we got probability wrong

David Colquhoun

Does life have a purpose?

Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?

Michael Ruse

Minding matter

The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground

Adam Frank

Cognition and intelligence
Cognitive celebrity

Albert Einstein was a genius, but he wasn’t the only one – why has his name come to mean something superhuman?

Matthew Francis

Cultures and languages
Absolute English

Science once communicated in a polyglot of tongues, but now English rules alone. How did this happen – and at what cost?

Michael D Gordin

Information and communication
The bit bomb

It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of ‘information’. His answer was both a revelation and a return

Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni

The chords of the Universe

It’s no surprise that mathematics has influenced music. But did you know that the influence goes both ways?

Eli Maor

Quantum theory
Quantum common sense

Despite its confounding reputation, quantum mechanics both guides and helps explain human intuition

Philip Ball

History of ideas
The sun does not rise

How magical thinking haunts our everyday language, and fossilised ideas live on in even the most sophisticated science

Andrew Crumey

Stories and literature
Thus spake Albert

You probably know a quote from him. He probably never said it. How did Einstein become a touchstone of all that is wise?

Andrew Robinson

History of science
Forging Islamic science

Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How?

Nir Shafir

Evolution unleashed

Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided?

Kevin Laland

History of science
Mathematics as thought

Mathematical ideas are some of the most transformative and beautiful in history. So why do they get so little attention?

Mordechai Levy-Eichel

Thinkers and theories
The American Aristotle

Charles Sanders Peirce was a brilliant philosopher, mathematician and scientist. His polymathic work should be better known

Daniel Everett

History of science
No absolute time

Two centuries before Einstein, Hume recognised that universal time, independent of an observer’s viewpoint, doesn’t exist

Matias Slavov

Economics is quantum

Money and brains are both quantum phenomena – so it’s not surprising that economics is overdue for a quantum revolution

David Orrell