Science


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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/Neuroscience
The real problem

It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be

Anil K Seth

Essay/Biology
Die, selfish gene, die

For decades, the selfish gene metaphor let us view evolution with new clarity. Is it now blinding us?

David Dobbs

Essay/Evolution
War in the womb

A ferocious biological struggle between mother and baby belies any sentimental ideas we might have about pregnancy

Suzanne Sadedin

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
Is this life real?

Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?

Matthew Francis

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/Deep Time
Light dawns

Light travels at around 300,000 km per second. Why not faster? Why not slower? A new theory inches us closer to an answer

Sidney Perkowitz

Essay/Astronomy
In the beginning

Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?

Ross Andersen

Essay/Philosophy of Science
Our quantum problem

When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable

Adrian Kent

Essay/Logic
The mathematical world

Some philosophers think maths exists in a mysterious other realm. They’re wrong. Look around: you can see it

James Franklin

Essay/Biology
Life is quantum

Weird quantum effects are so delicate it seems they could only happen in a lab. How on Earth can life depend on them?

Johnjoe McFadden

Essay/History of Ideas
Physics’s pangolin

Trying to resolve the stubborn paradoxes of their field, physicists craft ever more mind-boggling visions of reality

Margaret Wertheim

Essay/Philosophy of Science
The cold fusion horizon

Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it?

Huw Price

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/Astronomy
Moonstruck

The lunar phases influence all sorts of creatures from corals to eagle owls. Does the Moon tug on human behaviour too?

Cameron Walker

Essay/Biology
Keep smiling

Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one

Justin Gregg

Essay/Philosophy of Science
Too many worlds

Nobody knows what happens inside quantum experiments. So why are some so keen to believe in parallel universes?

Philip Ball

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/Neuroscience
I feel therefore I am

How exactly did consciousness become a problem? And why, after years off the table, is it a hot research subject now?

Margaret Wertheim

Essay/Biology
Rethinking extinction

The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis

Stewart Brand

Essay/Evolution
Aliens in our midst

The ctenophore’s brain suggests that, if evolution began again, intelligence would re-emerge because nature repeats itself

Douglas Fox