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Just how good are humans at assessing risk? If you take a close look at some of what most worries people in the developed world – terrorism, plane crashes, child kidnappings, animal attacks – the answer appears to be ‘not so good’. In this animation from The Royal Institution in London, the US scientist and author Jared Diamond recalls how time spent living with a Papua New Guinea tribe made him reassess how he viewed risk in his everyday life, and led him to scrutinise and re-evaluate his Western views of risk.
Video by the Royal Institution
‘Why does life have to be so complicated?’ A school trip to the world of work
Philosophy of mind
Forget babbling and toddling – mindreading is babies’ most incredible skill
Sex and sexuality
What does the Dutch model of comprehensive, ‘shame-free’ sex-ed look like?
Film and visual culture
A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US