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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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North

14 minutes

War, commerce, research. How the Arctic became the epicentre of climate science

Svalbard, a desolate archipelago in the far reaches of the Arctic Ocean north of Norway, became inextricably entwined with climate science in 1930 when a landmark research paper was published on rising temperatures on its largest island, Spitsbergen. This ruminative video essay traces Svalbard’s complex history over the past century, during which it has been a hub for science, war and global commerce, and a reflection of the potential for human cooperation and destruction.

Video by Studiocanoe

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/Genetics

Chimeras and lightning: a radical perspective on the evolution of complex life

6 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