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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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EXCLUSIVE

Inorganica

16 minutes

Obsession and electricity: a scientist chases the origins of life in the lab

Professor Lee Cronin is trying to create synthetic life in a Glasgow laboratory – giving non-living materials such as sand, rock and metal the ability to divide and multiply like biological cells. If he succeeds he will have answered two of the biggest questions in science: how did life on Earth start? And could there be life on other planets? But Cronin has a problem – despite being a highly successful chemistry professor, people are beginning to question how realistic his theory is. And worse than that, he has publicly set himself a deadline, which has now arrived…

– Synopsis courtesy of Scottish Documentary Institute

Director: Valerie Mellon

Producer: Ruth Reid


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/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau