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History of Science


Latest Popular


Astronomy Biology Chemistry Cosmology Deep Time Earth Science Ecology & Environmental Sciences Evolution Genetics History of Science Human Evolution Mathematics Physics Quantum Theory
Essay/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

Essay/Economics
The new astrology

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

Alan Jay Levinovitz

Essay/Biology
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

Essay/Mathematics
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

Essay/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

Essay/Cognition & 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

Essay/Physics
Minding matter

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

Adam Frank

Essay/Cultures & 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

Essay/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

Essay/Quantum Theory
Quantum common sense

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

Philip Ball

Essay/Data & Information
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

Essay/Biology
Paradigms lost

Science is not a ‘body of knowledge’ – it’s a dynamic, ongoing reconfiguration of knowledge and must be free to change

David P Barash

Essay/History of Ideas
Sky readers

For most of human history, the stars told us where we were in space and time. Have we forgotten how to look up?

Gene Tracy

Essay/Automation & Robotics
Preternatural machines

Robots came to Europe before the dawn of the mechanical age. To a medieval world, they were indistinguishable from magic

E R Truitt

Essay/Physics
This granular life

That the world is not solid but made up of tiny particles is a very ancient insight. Is it humanity’s greatest idea?

Carlo Rovelli

Essay/Cultures & Languages
Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren

Essay/Physics
A science without time

From past to present, into the future: the flow of time is central to human experience. Why isn’t it central to physics?

Gene Tracy

Essay/Physics
Taming the quantum spooks

Reconciling Einstein with quantum mechanics may require abandoning the notion that cause always precedes effect

Huw Price & Ken Wharton

Essay/History of Science
The sexism problem

Harassment drove me out of physics 30 years ago and little has changed. Why is scientific sexism so intractable?

Margaret Wertheim

Essay/Cultures & Languages
Is linguistics a science?

Much of linguistic theory is so abstract and dependent on theoretical apparatus that it might be impossible to explain

Arika Okrent

Essay/Values & Beliefs
Curb your enthusiasm

High priests, holy writ and excommunications – how did Humanism end up acting like a religion?

Michael Ruse