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.

Edited by Brigid Hains

Essay/Human Evolution

Sex makes babies

As far as we can tell, no other animal knows this. Did our understanding of baby-making change the course of human history?

Holly Dunsworth & Anne Buchanan


Bad mothers and why they make a difference to cheetah survival

Anne Hilborn

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

We could all do with learning how to improvise a little better

Stephen T Asma

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


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

Idea/History of Ideas

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

Sam Dresser


A poetic tour through Detroit’s abandoned, ghostly Packard Automotive Plant

7 minutes


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


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


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


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


The invention of the paper bag was a triumph of feminism

Hadley Meares


American secular

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

Sam Haselby

Video/Philosophy of Language

Does the meaning of words rest in our private minds or in our shared experience?

2 minutes

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

Video/Politics & Government

See real democracy in action – how Chinese third-graders elect a class monitor

34 minutes

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


Psychiatry is due for a revolution in diagnosis and treatment through brain science

4 minutes

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

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

Bram Büscher & Robert Fletcher


A bird-of-paradise must become a lord of the dance to woo a discerning mate

2 minutes

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

Video/Human Rights

Blood feuds are law in Albania, turning homes into prisons for ‘guilty’ families

31 minutes

Idea/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Why we need to stop thinking so much about climate change

Brandon Keim

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