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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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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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Small brains en masse

10 minutes

The inadvertent art of tiny bodies – stunning, hidden patterns of animal movement

A mesmerising confluence of biology, aesthetics and filmmaking, the ingenious nature photography of Dennis Hlynsky, professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, condenses frames of footage to reveal marvellous patterns in the activities of small creatures. The occasionally eerie effect shows the appearance of intricate trails in the wakes of insects and birds. Works of art in their own right, the clips also double as small-scale investigations into animal movement patterns and flock behaviour.

Director: Dennis Hlynsky

Website: Imagine Science Films

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