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‘We’re seeing the system crash before our eyes. I don’t know any other way to see it.’
For Bonnie Baxter, a professor of biology at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, fieldwork means gathering and analysing samples at the Great Salt Lake. Recently, as water levels have plummeted to record lows due to the climate crisis and population growth, it’s also meant sporadic bouts of tears. Confronted with an ecosystem in free fall – and potentially catastrophic consequences for the local human population as well – Baxter has found it increasingly difficult to play the role of dispassionate observer. Baxter’s narration combines with beautiful yet poignant cinematography from the local filmmaker Dane Christensen, whose short documentary Namesake captures both the state of the lake, and the sorrows of being a scientist tasked with documenting its collapse.
Director: Dane Christensen
The key to geckos’ unrivalled climbing skills isn’t sticky feet. It’s subatomic
Technology and the self
Greetings from Green Bank – the small town where modern technology is banned
Stories and literature
What makes John Keats’s ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ so enduringly powerful?
Far from frivolous, cuteness is a powerful – and still mysterious – force of nature
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
On a whirlwind morning, a couple learns if they’re facing an unplanned pregnancy
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
Philosophy of mind
Do we have good reasons to believe in beliefs? A radical philosophy of mind says no