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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
A black-and-white photo of soldiers in uniform checking documents of several men standing outdoors, with laundry hanging in the background.
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essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Decolonising psychology

At times complicit in racism and oppression, psychology has also been a fertile ground for radical and liberatory thought

Rami Gabriel

Weather map showing temperature, cloud cover, and other meteorological data across Ireland, the UK, and part of mainland Europe. Isobars are also depicted.
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video

War and peace

A war meteorologist’s riveting account of how the Allies averted a D-Day disaster

6 minutes

Aerial view of an industrial site emitting smoke, surrounded by snow-covered buildings and landscape, under a clear blue sky with birds flying overhead.
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essay

Politics and government

Governing for the planet

Nation-states are no longer fit for purpose to create a habitable future for humans and nature. Which political system is?

Jonathan S Blake & Nils Gilman

Three women in traditional attire stand outdoors in a dry landscape. One person carries a child on their back while another holds a walking stick.
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essay

Anthropology

The Ju/’hoansi protocol

Hunter-gatherer societies are highly expert in group deliberation and decision-making which respects both difference and unity

Vivek V Venkataraman

Silhouette of a man, a child, and a cow with large horns sitting on the ground at sunset.
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Progress and modernity

In praise of magical thinking

Once we all had knowledge of how to heal ourselves using plants and animals. The future would be sweeter for renewing it

Anna Badkhen

Illustration of various human skulls and profiles with captions detailing different ethnic groups and regions, from a historical anthropological study.
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essay

History of ideas

Baffled by human diversity

Confused 17th-century Europeans argued that human groups were separately created, a precursor to racist thought today

Jacob Zellmer

Ancient Mayan ruins, including a prominent stone pyramid, surrounded by dense green jungle under a cloudy sky.
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Archaeology

Beyond kingdoms and empires

A revolution in archaeology is transforming our picture of past populations and the scope of human freedoms

David Wengrow

Yellow warning sign with a black palm tree bent over in strong wind, signifying severe weather or wind conditions.
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video

Information and communication

An animation built from road signs is a whirlwind study of flash communication

2 minutes

Black and white photo of people sitting at a café, taken through a window with reflections. A sign saying ‘BUFFET FROID’ is visible.
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essay

Meaning and the good life

Philosophy was once alive

I was searching for meaning and purpose so I became an academic philosopher. Reader, you might guess what happened next

Pranay Sanklecha

Painting of a riverside scene with a large windmill, boats on the water, and three women standing on the bank next to a dock, under cloudy sky.
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History of technology

Learning to love monsters

Windmills were once just machines on the land but now seem delightfully bucolic. Could wind turbines win us over too?

Stephen Case

Painting of two clothed men and a naked woman picnicking in a forest, with another woman in the background near a pond.
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video

Art

Creating art that was aware of itself – and the viewer – made Manet the first modernist

15 minutes

Split image showing two types of coral, a hard coral on the left and a soft coral with tentacles on the right, both in deep blue light.
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video

Biotechnology

It’s our responsibility to engineer corals that can weather the world we’ve created

11 minutes

President Eisenhower and Kwame Nkrumah talking. Nkrumah is wearing traditional African attire and pointing at Eisenhower, who is wearing a suit.
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essay

Global history

The route to progress

Anticolonial modernity was founded upon the fight for liberation from communists, capitalists and imperialists alike

Frank Gerits

Silhouette of a soldier with glowing eyes and helmet, holding a rifle, with a blurred, colourful background.
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video

War and peace

A century later, can poetry help us make sense of the First World War’s horrors?

9 minutes

Medieval manuscript illustration of a goat and a person holding a disc, with gold circles in the background, surrounded by text in Latin script.
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Philosophy of mind

The problem of erring animals

Three medieval thinkers struggled to explain how animals could make mistakes – and uncovered the nature of nonhuman minds

Sam Alma

Illustration of two people high-fiving, with colourful abstract shapes around them representing conversation and connection.
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video

Language and linguistics

The little Peruvian guide to public speaking that conjures up a grandiose world

7 minutes

Black and white photograph depicts a flood with rising water levels in a residential area. Strong currents and waves are visible, and houses in the background are partially submerged. Floodwater covers much of the landscape, with a lone tree and partial wooden structure in the foreground.
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The future

The disruption nexus

Moments of crisis, such as our own, are great opportunities for historic change, but only under highly specific conditions

Roman Krznaric

Close-up image of a jumping spider showing its detailed features, including multiple eyes, hairy legs, and fangs. The spider is facing forward with a white background.
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essay

Evolution

What is intelligent life?

Our human minds hold us back from truly understanding the many brilliant ways that other creatures solve their problems

Abigail Desmond & Michael Haslam

Three cracked ceramic shards with painted faces are arranged on blocks, with strands of twisted rope resembling hair against a blurred green and blue background.
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video

The ancient world

Archeological discoveries animate the life of the warrior queen who took on Rome

6 minutes

Four young girls in dresses smile outside, with one holding a small cat.
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video

Biography and memoir

Preserving memories of a Japanese internment camp, and the land where it stood

8 minutes

Close-up of a hammer, metal pot, and three copper spheres on a stone surface, with a hand holding the hammer.
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video

Making

Trek to a remote Himalayan village where artisans craft teapots fit for kings

11 minutes

Shopfront of NY 99 Cent Fresh Pizza restaurant with an open sign, vaccine notice, and menu visible through the window.
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essay

Economic history

Economics 101

Why introductory economics courses continued to teach zombie ideas from before economics became an empirical discipline

Walter Frick

Abstract geometric pattern featuring overlapping rectangular and house-like shapes in various colours, including orange, yellow, green, pink, blue, red, and black, with circular details. The shapes create a visually intriguing mosaic-like composition.
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video

Political philosophy

Beyond the veil – what rules would govern John Rawls’s ‘realistic Utopia’?

6 minutes

A person with light blonde hair, wearing a dark hoodie, stands on a cliff by the sea, holding a bird. The sea is rough with waves crashing against the rocks, and several rock formations are visible in the misty background.
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video

Childhood and adolescence

The unique fellowship between teens and young puffins on a remote Icelandic island

20 minutes