Pam Weintraub
Senior Editor, Aeon+Psyche

Pam is an editor and writer specialising in psychology, neuroscience and the sciences. She has previously worked as executive and features editor at Discover, where her acquisitions were widely anthologised and received numerous national awards; a consulting editor at Psychology Today; and in a range of roles at Omni magazine, from senior editor and editor-at-large to founding editor of Omni online. She is author of 16 books on medicine, psychology and lifestyle, including Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic, which won the American Medical Writers Association book award in 2009. She can be found on Twitter @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

The boxer Muhammad Ali with his daughter Laila outside the 5th Street Gym in Miami, 1980. Photo by Brian Morgan/Popperfoto/Getty

Essay/
Family life
The biology of dads

The bodies and brains of fathers, not just mothers, are transformed through the love and labour of raising a child

James K Rilling

Three-year-old twins Estaban and Salome Hernandez at home with their parents Fabio and Mabel, 15 March 2020. The Hernandez family were awaiting the result of the Washington DC school lottery which determines which school they will attend. Photo by Michael S Williamson/Washington Post/Getty

Essay/
Genetics
The genes we’re dealt

The new field of social genomics can be used by progressives to combat racial inequality or by conservatives to excuse it

Erik Parens

The French aviation pioneers Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Henri Guillaumet. Photo by Roger-Violett/Topfoto

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
On the same wavelength

The urge to align our minds and emotions with those we care for, whether they are near or far, makes our species unique

Hayden Kee

Photo by Paul Zinken/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB/Getty

Essay/
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

Lambari, Brazil, August 2010. Photo by Steve McCurry/Magnum

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
The science of wisdom

Psychological science can now measure and nurture wisdom, superseding the speculations of philosophy and religion

Igor Grossmann

The snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). Photo by Robbie George/The National Geographic Image Collection

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Being eaten

The fear of becoming a meal is a powerful evolutionary force that shapes brains, behaviour and entire ecosystems

Lesley Evans Ogden

From The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945) by Tove Jansson. ©Moomin Characters™

Essay/
Stories and literature
Pippi and the Moomins

The antics in postwar Nordic children’s books left propaganda and prudery behind. We need this madcap spirit more than ever

Richard W Orange

Namanga, Arusha Region, Tanzania. February 2018. © Thomas Dworzak/Magnum Photos with support from the Pulitzer Center

Essay/
Family life
How parents are made

Attachment therapy helps us recognise and heal our childhood wounds so we can be free to become good parents ourselves

Juli Fraga

A polio patient receives treatment via an ‘iron lung’, the nurse adjusting the flow of air pressure. United States c1955. Photo by Three Lions Inc/Getty

Essay/
Medicine
Life and breath

There’s a strange, and deeply human, story behind how we taught machines to breathe for critically ill patients

Sarah Ruth Bates

Detail of Sunrise III (1936-37), by Arthur Garfield Dove. Gift of Katherine S Dreier to the Collection Société Anonyme/Yale University Art Gallery

Essay/
Evolution
Origin story

Perched on the cusp between biology and chemistry, the start of life on Earth is an event horizon we struggle to see beyond

Natalie Elliot

Detail from La Malade (1892) by Felix Vallotton. Courtesy Wikipedia

Essay/
Illness and disease
No rest

In the 19th century, the rest cure tested women’s sanity. Today, it challenges cherished myths about work and productivity

Alicia Puglionesi

The First Cloud (1888) by William Quiller Orchardson. Courtesy the Tate Gallery/Wikipedia

Essay/
Love and friendship
Forgive and be free

Hurts – your own or those done to you – keep you stuck. Forgiveness therapy can help you gain perspective and move on

Nathaniel Wade

Viewed from the International Space Station, stars glitter in the night sky above the Earth’s atmospheric glow. Photo courtesy Nasa

Essay/
Cosmology
Big space

Our planet is a tiny porthole, looking over a cosmic sea. Can we learn what lies beyond our own horizons of perception?

Katie Mack

Detail from Sunset (Zarathustra), 1917 by Christian Rohlfs. Landesmuseum Oldenburg, Germany. Photo by AKG

Essay/
Stories and literature
The inward gaze

In Hermann Hesse’s novels, as in his life, self-discovery walked a tightrope between deep insights and profound solipsism

M M Owen

A group gather to watch another victim taken to a hospital during the 1956 polio epidemic in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

Essay/
Illness and disease
Stealth infections

From the Black Death to polio, the most dangerous pathogens have moved silently, transmitted by apparently healthy people

Wendy Orent

A section of the Andromeda galaxy M31, from the largest and most detailed image ever taken with the Hubble telescope. The full image shows more than 100 million stars stretching across more than 40,000 light years. Photo courtesy NASA, ESA, J Dalcanton, B F Williams, L C Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team and R Gendler

Essay/
Astronomy
Does dark matter exist?

Dark matter is the most ubiquitous thing physicists have never found: it’s time to consider alternative explanations

Ramin Skibba

Two girls with their Cabbage Patch dolls. New York City, 1986. Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum

Essay/
Mood and emotion
The bittersweet madeleine

It is a guilty pleasure and undergirds nationalist bombast, yet nostalgia for the past can help propel us into the future

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Self-improvement
Beware of lateral thinking

De Bono’s popular theory is textbook pseudoscience: unsound, untested and derivative of real (unacknowledged) research

Antonio Melechi

Photo by Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Essay/
Medicine
The medicalised life

Why do so many see vaccines and other medical interventions as tools of social control rather than boons to health?

Bernice L Hausman

Photo courtesy Wellcome Images

Essay/
Neuroscience
Frames of consciousness

Can electrical impulses in the brain explain the stuff that dreams are made on? What a new consciousness-detector reveals

Joel Frohlich

Just for them. Photo by Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Essay/
Family life
Kid culture

In most cultures, kids tag along with grownups or mooch with friends but American life is heavy with ‘kid-friendly’ artifice

Sarah Menkedick

Photo by Anush Babajanyan / VII for UNICEF / Redux / Headpress

Essay/
Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Escaping a toxic childhood

A new therapy helps survivors improve their lives by facing the psychological impoverishment that often accompanies abuse

Steven N Gold

Uummannaq Fjord in Northern Greenland. Photo by Ciril Jazbec/National Geographic

Essay/
Anthropology
We are wayfinders

Navigation and spatial awareness sustained humans for tens of thousands of years. Have we lost the trail in modern times?

Michael Bond

William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody (third from left) alongside the author’s great-great uncle Sheriff Plunkett (right) at Deadwood in 1906. From Deadwood: 1876-1976 (2005) by Beverly Pechan and Bill Groethe/Arcadia Publishing

Idea/
Love and friendship
Friendship is about loyalty, not laws. Should it be policed?

Leah Plunkett

Detail from Interior (with Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin) (1910), by Wassily Kandinsky. Photo by AKG London

Essay/
Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Therapy that sticks

Quick-fix psychotherapies have been hailed as the gold standard. But depth therapies can be far more enduring and profound

Linda Michaels

Les Baigneuses (1912), by Albert Gleizes. Courtesy Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris/Wikipedia

Essay/
Human evolution
Choose your own birth

Every human is both an animal with a deep evolutionary history and an individual who must bring their existence into being

Ada Jaarsma

Erotic scene from the Persian Safavid period c1660. Photo courtesy the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Essay/
Sex and sexuality
Islamic sexology

Popular stereotypes of Islam as a prudish religion ignore rich traditions of freewheeling, explicit erotica and advice

Mark Hay

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