Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
While researching her doctoral thesis, Suzanne Simard, now a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, made an astounding discovery – trees in forests seem to possess complex information superhighways in their root systems that allow them to share information. Her 1995 doctoral thesis on the topic has been part of a revolution in how scientists view plants, leading many to suggest that they possess cognitive abilities, and even intelligence. This animation from TED-Ed details the symbiotic relationship – between tree roots and fungi called mycorrhizae – that serves as the foundation of these intricate intra-tree communication networks, allowing them to trade news on topics such as drought and insect attacks, and even detect if an incoming message has been sent by a close relative.
Far from frivolous, cuteness is a powerful – and still mysterious – force of nature
In the search for life, might alien ocean worlds be a better bet than Earth-like planets?
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues
Modern architecture should embrace – not ignore or repel – the nonhuman world
Philosophy of mind
We may never settle the ‘free will’ debate, but tapping into it is still worthwhile
Ecology and environmental sciences
In an ancient English rainforest, John creates charcoal and cultivates growth
Information and communication
Mapping data visualisation’s meteoric rise from Victorian London to today
What are you really seeing when you see magnificent images of space?