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Sally Davies
Conversations
40

Edited by Sally Davies

Essay/
Future of Technology
Algorithmic wilderness

Robo-bees and drone-seeded forests: can technology mend our broken relationship with the natural world?

Henry Mance

Essay/
Human Evolution
To automate is human

It’s not tools, culture or communication that make humans unique but our knack for offloading dirty work onto machines

Antone Martinho-Truswell

Essay/
Ecology & Environmental Sciences
The African Anthropocene

The Anthropocene feels different depending on where you are – too often, the ‘we’ of the world is white and Western

Gabrielle Hecht

Essay/
Philosophy of Mind
Are you sleepwalking now?

Given how little control we have of our wandering minds, how can we cultivate real mental autonomy?

Thomas Metzinger

Essay/
Evolution
Evolution unleashed

Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided?

Kevin Laland

Essay/
Philosophy of Mind
Getting in the groove

Music reminds us that the mind is more than a calculator. We are resonant bodies as much as representing machines

Jenny Judge

Essay/
Neurodiversity
The autism paradox

How an autism diagnosis became both a clinical label and an identity; a stigma to be challenged and a status to be embraced

Bonnie Evans

Essay/
Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/
Philosophy of Science
Metaphysics of metamorphosis

The swarming, ever-changing character of the living world challenges our deepest assumptions about the nature of reality

John Dupré

Essay/
History of Science
Against citizen science

It might style itself as a grassroots movement but citizen science is little more than a cheap land-grab by big business

Philip Mirowski

Essay/
Physics
Why trees don’t ungrow

The cliché that life transcends the laws of thermodynamics is completely wrong. The truth is almost exactly the opposite

Jeremy England

Essay/
Philosophy of Science
Life is not easily bounded

Working out where one hare ends and another begins is easy; a siphonophore, not so much. What is an individual in nature?

Derek J Skillings

Essay/
History of Science
Monster mash

Beastly births, ass-popes and satanic hybrids: nothing distils the weirdness of the early moderns like their woodcuts

Jon Crabb

Essay/
History of Science
Does science need mavericks?

Staid and conformist, science risks losing its creative spark. Does it need more mavericks, or are they part of the problem?

Adrian Currie

Essay/
Rituals & Celebrations
Mrs Myself

Self-marriage promises love and fulfilment – but is it a radical act or a depressing concession to self-absorption?

Polina Aronson

Classic /Social Psychology
CLASSIC

The herd instinct

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, 1921

With a new introduction and commentary by Elizabeth Lunbeck

Recent conversations