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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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The bristlecone’s fate

7 minutes

A portent of climates to come – on the telling rings of the bristlecone pine

Adapted from ‘The Vanishing Groves’, an essay that originally appeared in Aeon, this film tells the story of the world’s oldest trees, bristlecone pines. Perched atop California’s White Mountains, the bristlecones have learned to thrive in a cold, dry environment that most organisms cannot abide. Some have even proved hardy enough to live for thousands of years, but now the old trees face a new threat to their existence: climate change. As the earth warms, the bristlecones are seeing their habitat shrink and their predators emboldened. In a few hundred years, there might not be many of them left.

Director: Grant Slater

Producer: Grant Slater, Mae Ryan

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Film & Television

Why do we crave the awful futures of apocalyptic fiction?

5 minutes

Video/Mathematics

Going from A to B isn’t always a straight line – but it can be very good fun

2 minutes

Idea/Space Exploration

To find aliens, we must think of life as we don’t know it

Ramin Skibba

Video/Cosmology

We are born of supernovas – our spectacular and totally ordinary origin story

4 minutes

Essay/Human Evolution

Sex makes babies

As far as we can tell, no other animal knows this. Did our understanding of baby-making change the course of human history?

Holly Dunsworth & Anne Buchanan

Idea/History of Science

The most wonderful words in science: ‘We have no idea… yet!’

Daniel Whiteson

Video/Physics

Why the apparent flatness of space is an enduring cosmological mystery

4 minutes

Essay/Evolution

Aliens in our midst

The ctenophore’s brain suggests that, if evolution began again, intelligence would re-emerge because nature repeats itself

Douglas Fox