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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
Our contaminated future | Aeon
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The environment

Our contaminated future

In Fukushima, communities are adapting to life in a time of permanent pollution: a glimpse of what’s to come for us all

Maxime Polleri

Why we crave | Aeon
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Addiction

Why we crave

The neuroscientific picture of addiction overlooks the psychological and social factors that make cravings so hard to resist

Zoey Lavallee

Care from afar | Aeon
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History of technology

Care from afar

For over a century telemedicine has promised healthcare for all. But will it ever replace seeing a human being in person?

Jeremy A Greene

Mother and baby | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

The staggering cruelty of Ireland’s Church-run ‘mother and baby homes’

18 minutes

Contaminated kinship | Aeon
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Environmental history

Contaminated kinship

If your hometown were beset with toxic dust, like Australia’s Broken Hill, would you feel any less connected to it?

Lilian Pearce

The humane asylum | Aeon
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Psychiatry and psychotherapy

The humane asylum

As a society we are failing people with severe, persistent mental illness. It’s time to reimagine institutional care

Madeleine Ritts & Daniel Rosenbaum

Sex on the curriculum | Aeon
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Education

Sex on the curriculum

Sex education is a battlefield over morals and young bodies, and has exposed fractures in American life for over a century

Kristy Slominski

The shift | Aeon
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Work

Emergency first responders meet chaos with dissonant calm in this gripping short

9 minutes

We were there to be there | Aeon
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Public health

When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued

27 minutes

Safety is fatal | Aeon
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Anthropology

Safety is fatal

Humans need closeness and belonging but any society that closes its gates is doomed to atrophy. How do we stay open?

David Napier

Longhouse lockdown | Aeon
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Anthropology

Longhouse lockdown

On a regular cycle, the Nias islanders of Indonesia would retreat into enforced seclusion. What can we learn from them?

Andrew Beatty

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

Economics for the people | Aeon
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Economic history

Economics for the people

Against the capitalist creeds of scarcity and self-interest, a plan for humanity’s shared flourishing is finally coming into view

Dirk Philipsen

It didn’t have to be this way | Aeon
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Public health

It didn’t have to be this way

A bioethicist at the heart of the Italian coronavirus crisis asks: why won’t we talk about the tradeoffs of the lockdown?

Silvia Camporesi

Private gain must no longer be allowed to elbow out the public good | Aeon
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Economics

Private gain must no longer be allowed to elbow out the public good

Dirk Philipsen

The clinic | Aeon
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Public health

Basic healthcare and clean needles is all in a day’s work at a roving addiction clinic

16 minutes

Human crap | Aeon
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Environmental history

Human crap

We are demigods of discards – but our copious garbage became a toxic burden only with the modern cult of ‘disposability’

Gabrielle Hecht

The drill | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

‘I want to take the bullet and save my friends’ – the grim reality of safety drills in US schools

3 minutes

Lions in the corner | Aeon
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Public health

‘I know it looks barbaric.’ Can a fight club curb street violence?

9 minutes

We need worms | Aeon
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Medicine

We need worms

You might think they are disgusting. But our war against intestinal worms has damaged our immune systems and mental health

William Parker

How the marvel of electric light became a global blight to health | Aeon
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Public health

How the marvel of electric light became a global blight to health

Richard G ‘Bugs’ Stevens

More people should choose to have children with Down syndrome | Aeon
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Bioethics

More people should choose to have children with Down syndrome

Chris Kaposy

Viral rescue | Aeon
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Medicine

Viral rescue

When antibiotics fail, could phage therapy succeed? The germ’s-eye view of infection might open up revolutionary treatments

Emily Monosson

The flavour revolutionary | Aeon
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History

The flavour revolutionary

Henry Theophilus Finck sought to transform the modern United States, by appealing to Americans’ tastebuds

Nadia Berenstein