Pam Weintraub
Senior Editor, Aeon

Pam Weintraub is the psychology and health editor of Aeon. She was previously executive editor at Discover and editor in chief of OMNI. She is the author of the awardwinning book Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic (2013, rev ed). She can be found on Twitter as @pam3001

Written by Pam Weintraub

At Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1984. Photo by Pierre Perrin/Gamma-Rapho/Getty
Essay/
Genetics
Haunted by history

War, famine and persecution inflict profound changes on bodies and brains. Could these changes persist over generations?

Pam Weintraub

Edited by Pam Weintraub

Planetary System. Eclipse of the Sun. The Moon. The Zodiacal Light. Meteoric Shower. From Yaggy’s Geographical Study, 1887. Courtesy the David Rumsey Map Collection

Essay/
History of science
Naming the Universe

How the quick thinking of internationally minded astronomers avoided stamping the solar system with petty European rivalries

Stephen Case

Dee, JoJo, Frankie and Lisa after school on Prince Street, Little Italy, New York City, in 1976. Photo from Susan Meiselas’s series Prince Street Girls/Magnum

Essay/
Love and friendship
The biology of love

Humans teeter on a knife’s edge. The same deep chemistry that fosters bonding can, in a heartbeat, pivot to fear and hate

Ruth Feldman

This colour-enhanced frontal view of the head, neck and shoulders confirms brain death by absence of blood flow to the brain. Photo by Living Art Enterprises, LLC/SPL

Essay/
Bioethics
Neither person nor cadaver

The body is warm, but the brain has gone dark: why the notion of brain death provokes the thorniest of medical dilemmas

Sharon Kaufman

Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots celebrates a 12-yard touchdown against the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI on 5 February 2012. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Essay/
Sports and games
Invisible tattoos

Many athletes are propelled by childhood trauma to succeed, but it’s a toxic myth that healing the wounds blunts the edge

William D Parham

A ranger strokes a young Rhino orphaned by poachers at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, in May 2015. He was named ‘Hope’. Photo Tom Pilston/Panos

Essay/
Animals and humans
All we owe to animals

It is not enough to conserve species and ecosystems. We have an ethical duty to care for each individual animal on earth

Jeff Sebo

Ostend, Belgium, 1988. Photo by Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Mental health
Depressive realism

We keep chasing happiness, but true clarity comes from depression and existential angst. Admit that life is hell, and be free

Julie Reshe

At the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile. Photo courtesy Alan Fitzsimmons/ESO

Essay/
Cosmology
Fate of the Universe

Are we part of a dying reality or a blip in eternity? The value of the Hubble Constant could tell us which terror awaits

Corey S Powell

Police in Hong Kong confront demonstrators defying a ban on rallying and set against a backdrop of mounting threats from China, 31 August 2019. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Riot acts

History shows that tumult is a companion to democracy and when ordinary politics fails, the people must take to the streets

Antonia Malchik

Photo by Jean-François Monnot/EyeEm/Getty

Essay/
Love and friendship
Real love stories

Romantic expectations are often ridiculous and unhelpful, but attachment science can guide us to real and lasting love

Sue Johnson

Photo by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum

Essay/
Animals and humans
Canine exceptionalism

Trainers working with dogs every day have documented extraordinary talents and skills. Will science ever catch up?

Jessica Hekman

Photo by Jean Gaumy/Magnum

Essay/
Psychiatry and psychotherapy
The awe of being alive

Existential therapy explores the darkest corners and craggy edges of the many-sided self. The result is true transformation

Kirk Schneider

‘To be happy ... we need to be engaged with external things and with other people.’ A migrant child receives her food at a refugee shelter in a former hotel in Berlin, Germany, 9 June 2016. Photo by Stefanie Loos/Reuters

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
How to be an Epicurean

A philosophy that values innocent pleasure, human warmth and the rewards of creative endeavour. What’s not to like?

Catherine Wilson

Turkana warriors react after finding out that Nyangatom warriors are around their settlement in Ilemi Triangle, Kenya, on 17 July 2019. Photo by Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Essay/
Human evolution
Suspicion makes us human

Conspiracy theories have always been with us, powered by an evolutionary drive to survive. How’s that working for us now?

Jan-Willem van Prooijen

Photo by Jorge Sanz/SOPA Images/LightRocket Getty

Essay/
Animals and humans
What do mirror tests test?

Chimps, dolphins and elephants pass, dogs and cats don’t. Is the mirror test a reliable mark of self-awareness?

Virginia Morell

Threadneedle Street, London, 2012. Photo by Trent Parke/Magnum

Essay/
Cities
City on mute

When you stare at your phone or use Uber to navigate your neighbourhood, you flatten the rich texture of urban life

Kathleen Vandenberg

Photo by Vincent J Musi/National Geographic

Essay/
Animals and humans
The pointing ape

How a chimpanzee named Clint trained a psychologist to question human exceptionalism and reconsider the intelligence of apes

David Leavens

Isabelle, 57, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago, works on her watercolour paintings at home in northern France. Photo by Patrick Allard/REA

Essay/
Illness and disease
The best life possible

Living with chronic illness is hard. But there are psychological techniques that make it possible to thrive even when ill

Joseph Trunzo

A Huichol culture yarn painting from Zacatecas, Mexico. Photo by Charles Mahaux/AGF/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
The whole-planet view

Psychedelics offer a sense of expansive connectedness, just like astronauts have felt looking back to Earth from space

Rosalind Watts, Sam Gandy & Alex Evans

Photo courtesy ESA/Hubble/NASA, Fillipenko, Jansen

Essay/
Quantum theory
Splitting the Universe

Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up

Sean Carroll

Drowning in pink. Photo by Aly Song/Reuters

Essay/
Gender and identity
Pink and blue tsunami

From tutus to trucks, parents are often struck by the gendered choices made by their children. Could these be ‘hardwired’?

Gina Rippon

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