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

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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/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

Idea/Stories & Literature

Why our imagination for alien life is so impoverished

Philip Ball

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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/Evolution

War in the womb

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

Suzanne Sadedin

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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

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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

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Idea/History of Science

Opposition to Galileo was scientific, not just religious

Christopher Graney

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

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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/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/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/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

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Idea/Physics

Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator

Joel Frohlich

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Idea/Physics

What I learned as a hired consultant to autodidact physicists

Sabine Hossenfelder

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/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

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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/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

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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

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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/Astronomy

Life in the dark

In the dark corners of our galaxy, there are billions of rogue planets roaming around, starless – can they support life?

Sean Raymond

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Essay/Physics

Parallel worlds

If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?

Andrew Crumey

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Idea/Cosmology

Our Universe is too vast for even the most imaginative sci-fi

Michael Strauss

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Essay/Quantum Theory

Black-hole computing

Might nature’s bottomless pits actually be ultra-efficient quantum computers? That could explain why data never dies

Sabine Hossenfelder

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Anthropocene fever

The Anthropocene idea has been embraced by Earth scientists and English professors alike. But how useful is it?

Jedediah Purdy

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Out of the deep

From Atlantis to Noah’s Ark, we have long been drawn to stories of submerged lands. What lies beneath the flood myths?

Edward Platt