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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.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Network Earth

5 minutes

How the maths of network resilience could help us preserve at-risk ecosystems

Ecosystems are networks so intricate that their survival or collapse is extremely difficult to predict. However, by mapping the lifespans and studying the resilience of different ecosystems around the world, network scientists at Northeastern University are working to create a common mathematical framework that could anticipate – and help us prevent – the collapse of at-risk ecosystems like commercial fisheries. Potentially, the model could even be used to predict the spread of epidemics and assess the stability of financial networks. The full paper is available at Nature.

Video by Nature

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

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.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

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/History of Science
Science is broken

Perverse incentives and the misuse of quantitative metrics have undermined the integrity of scientific research

Siddhartha Roy & Marc A Edwards