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Science

Essays and videos exploring physics, evolution, cosmology and other frontiers in science
Believing is seeing | Aeon
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Social psychology

Social contagions can cause genuine illness, and TikTok may be a superspreader

10 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

Are they the canaries? | Aeon
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Illness and disease

Are they the canaries?

People with multiple chemical sensitivity seem to be allergic to the world. What, if anything, can medicine do for them?

Xi Chen

Perfecting the art of longing | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

‘Let me dream you into my reality’: memories illuminate an unthinkable isolation

12 minutes

Not even for a moment do things stand still | Aeon
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Art

A massive art installation attempts to put the COVID-19 deaths in perspective

15 minutes

Kafka the hypochondriac | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Kafka the hypochondriac

Franz Kafka believed illness was at the root of his writing yet he embraced wellness fads with hearty vigour

Will Rees

Hope is not optimism | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

Hope is not optimism

Even when you know that prospects are grim, hope can help. It’s not just a feeling, but a way to step into the future

David B Feldman & Benjamin W Corn

The body is not a machine | Aeon
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Medicine

The body is not a machine

Modern biomedicine sees the body as a closed mechanistic system. But illness shows us to be permeable, ecological beings

Nitin K Ahuja

Healthcare workers of yore | Aeon
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History of science

Healthcare workers of yore

Looking past conventional histories of medicine we see that women delivered much of medieval healthcare. Just as today

Sara Ritchey

Fifty per cent | Aeon
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Meaning and the good life

To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test

10 minutes

The food wars | Aeon
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Food and drink

The food wars

Vitamins or whole foods; high-fat or low-fat; sugar or sweetener. Will we ever get a clear idea about what we should eat?

Amos Zeeberg

Apocalypse, please | Aeon
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Pleasure and pain

Apocalypse, please

The COVID-19 pandemic, like other catastrophes before it, got some of us hooked on phobic energy and terror. Why?

Travis Alexander

Art from a mind at sea | Aeon
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Art

Art from a mind at sea

Louise’s Parkinsonism didn’t tamp her artistic drive, but exposed the link between perception, thought and creativity

Michael Stanley

The return | Aeon
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Anthropology

On the run from COVID-19, an Indigenous family treks deep into the Amazon rainforest

17 minutes

Plagues and empires | Aeon
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Global history

Plagues and empires

What can the decline of the Roman Empire and the end of European feudalism tell us about COVID-19 and the future of the West?

John Rapley

The seed of suffering | Aeon
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Mental health

The seed of suffering

The p-factor is the dark matter of psychiatry: an invisible, unifying force that might lie behind a multitude of mental disorders

Alex Riley

Another Hayride | Aeon
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video

Wellbeing

The controversial New Age guru who believed self-love healed all – even AIDS

18 minutes

You and the thing that you love | Aeon
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Pleasure and pain

After losing his sight, a skateboarder takes an unexpected path to realising his dreams

12 minutes

Gut hack | Aeon
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Biology

When medicine offers no relief, a biohacker begins a radical self-experiment

12 minutes

Natural and unnatural | Aeon
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Illness and disease

Natural and unnatural

‘Natural’ remedies are metaphysically inconsistent and unscientific. Yet they offer something that modern medicine cannot

Alan Jay Levinovitz

A lunar pandemic | Aeon
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Space exploration

A lunar pandemic

In the 1960s, NASA went to huge expense to contain possible pathogens from the Moon. What can we learn from the attempt?

Dagomar Degroot

Don’t think twice | Aeon
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Illness and disease

As dementia trims the tree of knowledge in John’s brain, music holds firm

12 minutes

The wisdom of pandemics | Aeon
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Illness and disease

The wisdom of pandemics

Viruses are active agents, existing within rich lifeworlds. A safe future depends on understanding this evolutionary story

David Waltner-Toews

Pien, queen of the bees | Aeon
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video

Childhood and adolescence

In between chemotherapy, 10-year-old Pien finds kinship with the honeybees she keeps

16 minutes