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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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In the vault

4 minutes

Is the Global Seed Vault in Norway humanity’s last, best hope?

Tucked away on a remote island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is ‘an insurance policy for world agriculture’. Cavernous and eerily stark on the inside, the vault contains hundreds of millions of frozen seed samples from across the globe. The US agriculturalist Cary Fowler, senior advisor to the Global Crop Diversity Trust, helps to oversee the project. He thinks that the vault could help humanity survive the incremental but very real challenges presented by climate change and other existential threats. Believing that ‘doomsday happens every day… in small bits and pieces’, Fowler views the long-term survival of our species as a problem that can be solved only by prudent thinking and ‘very quiet’ solutions.

Director: David Osit

Producer: Caleb Heller

Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Neuroscience

A happy life is built on pleasures such as sex and food, but also company and variety

7 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Essay/History

Les Anglo-Saxons

Not just American or British, the Anglo-Saxon is a mirror to Frenchness: the country’s alter-ego and most feared enemy

Emile Chabal

Video/Law & Justice

What is Mother’s Day to a child whose mother is in prison?

8 minutes

Idea/Race

How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

Ed Simon

Essay/War & Conflict

Don’t look away

Photography came of age amid the wars and atrocities, as well as the humanitarian aspirations, of the modern world

Jeremy Adelman

Idea/Cities

This striking feature of Manila makes it an emblematic global city

Nancy Kwak

Video/Cities

In the shadows of high-rises, Shanghai’s small neighbourhoods struggle to survive

13 minutes