Brigid Hains
Editorial Director, Aeon
Brigid oversees the editorial team at Aeon Media. She is an environmental historian by training and has particular interests in anthropology, psychology, history, ecology and evolutionary theory.
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Edited by Brigid Hains

Essay/Fairness & Equality

In defence of hierarchy

As a society we have forgotten how to talk about the benefits of hierarchy, expertise and excellence. It's time we remembered

Stephen C Angle, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Julian Baggini and others

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Essay/Self-Improvement

The self-help game

Millions believe that pop psychology can change their tennis skills, their love life or their moods. Are they all wrong?

Rami Gabriel

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Idea/History of Ideas

How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free

Sam Dresser

Essay/Cosmopolitanism

This is your morning

I left the US, the land of my birth, sickened by racial injustice. But the return to a homeland is not a simple matter

Enuma Okoro

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Idea/Education

Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills

Carl Hendrick

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

A tale of three dogs

Coyotes, dingoes and wolves are all dogs, as intelligent and loyal as our familiars. Our treatment of them is unconscionable

Brandon Keim

Essay/Fertility, Pregnancy and Childbirth

The twin boom

The proportion of twins in the population has waxed and waned in human history. For the first time we understand why

Laura Spinney

Essay/Religion

Is God a silverback?

Protective, omnipotent, scary and very territorial. The monotheistic God is modelled on a harem-keeping alpha male

David P Barash

Essay/Gender & Sexuality

The weaponised loser

Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it?

Stephen T Asma

Idea/Evolution

Sex is a costly molecular kind of wizardry – why evolve it?

Arunas L Radzvilavicius

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

Listening to speech has remarkable effects on a baby’s brain

Sandra Waxman

Essay/Sleep & Dreams

Life in Circadia

The ticking of the bodyclock can help us fight cancer, safeguard our hearts, time our meals, and enhance our intelligence

Jessa Gamble

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Idea/Gender

The invention of the paper bag was a triumph of feminism

Hadley Meares

Essay/History

American secular

The founding moment of the United States brought a society newly freed from religion. What went wrong?

Sam Haselby

Essay/Nature & Environment

Ghosts and tiny treasures

We are quick to condemn a hunter posing with his prey, but all too slow to cultivate a chronic passion for wild things

Bryan Pfeiffer

Essay/Nature & Environment

Who owns the earth?

Private land ownership is a beautiful dream gone badly wrong. It’s time to reinstate the forgotten ideal of the commons

Antonia Malchik

Essay/Food & Drink

Recipe for success

Who should we admire more: the Michelin-starred chef with his teams and glamour, or the unsung but brilliant cook?

Julian Baggini

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Why E O Wilson is wrong about how to save the Earth

Bram Büscher & Robert Fletcher

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Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Playing games for real

My father was hopelessly, joyously addicted to gambling and I his moral critic. How did I end up playing pro blackjack?

Marina Benjamin

Idea/Human Rights

We regret to inform you that the frontier is now closed

Susan Schorn

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Why we need to stop thinking so much about climate change

Brandon Keim

Essay/History of Ideas

What if?

Whether to kill baby Hitler might be a political firecracker, but can counterfactuals say anything deeper about the past?

Rebecca Onion

Essay/Biology

Paradigms lost

Science is not a ‘body of knowledge’ – it’s a dynamic, ongoing reconfiguration of knowledge and must be free to change

David P Barash

Essay/Cosmopolitanism

The dimming of the light

With its revolutionary heat and rational cool, French thought once dazzled the world. Where did it all go wrong?

Sudhir Hazareesingh

Essay/Memoir

Beyond

A remote island, an Arctic expedition, a one-way trip to Mars – what drives our urge to explore the farthest reaches?

Veronique Greenwood

Essay/Meaning & the Good Life

The quiet alarm

Just like pain, boredom is an aversive and unpleasant experience that we need to have in order to truly live well

Andreas Elpidorou

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Essay/Memoir

Hotel Melancholia

Travel is supposed to make us feel more alive, so why is the hotel room a place of such loneliness and despair?

Suzanne Joinson

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/Computing & Artificial Intelligence

The info moralist

Persecuted little guy, or powerful revolutionary – what sort of wunderkind was Aaron Swartz?

Ed Lake

Essay/Biology

Insectophilia

In Japan, beetles are pets, grasshoppers a delicacy and fireflies are adored. Is the creepy-crawly a Western invention?

Andrea Appleton

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