Sally Davies
Senior Editor, Aeon

Sally Davies is a senior editor at Aeon and a writer with interests in science, philosophy and feminism. She is the former digital editor of the Financial Times Weekend and the technology and innovation correspondent for the Financial Times. She launched Libreria, an innovative bookshop in East London, as its founding director, and was on the original editorial team of Nautilus Magazine. She trained as a lawyer and intellectual historian. She can be found on Twitter @daviesally.

Written by Sally Davies

Déesse V Nine Goodbye Kisses by Delphine Lebourgeois

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
Women’s minds matter

Feminists never bought the idea of the computational mind set free from its body. Cognitive science is finally catching up

Sally Davies

Edited by Sally Davies

From the Chansonnier of Zeghere van Male (1542), Bruges. Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 128B, Folio 116v. Courtesy ISMPL.org

Essay/
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

Photo by Martin Parr/Magnum

Essay/
Personality
Spot the psychopath

Psychopaths have a reputation for cunning and ruthlessness. But they are more like you and me than we care to admit

Heidi Maibom

Photo posed by a model. Phillip Suddick/Getty

Essay/
Philosophy of mind
The problem of mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes itself as value-neutral but it is loaded with (troubling) assumptions about the self and the cosmos

Sahanika Ratnayake

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field of nearly 10,000 galaxies, taken in 2004. The snapshot includes galaxies of various ages, sizes, shapes and colours. The smallest, reddest galaxies may be among the most distant known, existing when the Universe was just 800 million years old. Photo courtesy NASA, ESA, and S Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team

Essay/
Astronomy
Monsters in the dark

The Universe’s biggest galaxies could hold the key to the birth of the cosmos. Why are these behemoths so hard to find?

Matthew Bothwell

Photo by Marie-Lou Neron/Getty

Essay/
Neuroscience
Brain, heal thyself

Neurofeedback can put thoughts in your head and help you conquer phobias – even when you’re unaware of what it’s doing

Sara Kimmich

Photo by Roberto Muñoz/Getty

Essay/
Family life
When breast isn’t best

New parents face intense moral pressure from every quarter to breastfeed their babies. But sometimes bottle is better

Laura Frances Callahan

A photograph of light generated by spontaneous parametric down-conversion. The camera is looking towards the crystal and the special nature of the light is that it is created two photons at a time and therefore unlike any other source you would typically encounter. Courtesy Alan Migdall/NIST

Essay/
Physics
Seeing the quantum

The human eye is a surprisingly good photon detector. What can it spy of the line between the quantum and classical worlds?

Rebecca Holmes

Children follow their teacher during a snowfall in Harlem, New York, in 2018. Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
Cognitive gadgets

Our thinking devices – imitation, mind-reading, language and others – are neither hard-wired nor designed by genetic evolution

Cecilia Heyes

The last remaining house on Holland Island in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States. Photo by Baldeaglebluff/Flickr

Essay/
Physics
In defence of disorder

Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish

Alan Lightman

Photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

Essay/
Political philosophy
Resist and be free

More than false choices and options, the highest freedom lies in being true to oneself and defying the expectations of others

Mariam Thalos

Trans father Liam Johnson cradles his one-year-old daughter Aspen, in Michigan, United States, on 6 March 2017. Photo by JJ Fabre/Barcroft Media/Getty

Essay/
Gender and identity
Words for every body

Some critics say that terms such as ‘chestfeeding’ and ‘front hole’ erase cis women’s identities. Here’s why we disagree

Ray Briggs & B R George

An exhibit depicts the life of a Neanderthal family in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern town of Krapina, Croatia. 25 February 2010. Photo by Nikola Solic/Reuters

Essay/
Human evolution
The Neanderthal renaissance

Handprints on a cave wall, crumbs from a meal: the new science of Neanderthals radically recasts the meaning of humanity

Rebecca Wragg Sykes

Photo by Michael Prince/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Human rights and justice
A survivor speaks

Victims of sexual assault are commonly judged by the consistency of their story. But consistency is not a high road to truth

Linda Martín Alcoff

A Jeep full of the Daughters of Charity in St Louis, Missouri in 1964. Photo by Bert Glinn/Magnum

Essay/
Anthropology
Did laughter make the mind?

A psychological relief valve and a guard against despotism, laughter is a uniquely human – and collective – activity

Chris Knight

Nurunuru? Reiko Takahashi, 78, prepares seaweed that she collects from the sea at the Tomari Port on 12 March 2013 in Minamisanriku, Japan. Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Getty

Essay/
Language and linguistics
Words as feelings

A special class of vivid, textural words defies linguistic theory: could ‘ideophones’ unlock the secrets of humans’ first utterances?

David Robson

Going to Work (1943) by L S Lowry. Photo courtesy and © The Imperial War Museum, London

Essay/
Self-improvement
The creed of compromise

Don’t throw in the day job to follow your dream. Join the bifurcators who juggle work-for-pay and their work-for-love

Thomas Maloney

Recently discovered prisoner writings on the wall of Lyon’s notorious Montluc prison from which résistant and historian Marc Bloch was taken and executed by the Nazis on the night of the 16 June 1944. A noted historian, Bloch wrote: ‘The task of the historian is understanding, not judging.’ Photo by Bony/AP/Rex

Idea/
History of ideas
The empathetic humanities have much to teach our adversarial culture

Alexander Bevilacqua

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