The Contagion Detective
Adam Kucharski explains how diseases like COVID-19 and misinformation spread.
Guided by Plant Voices
Plants talk to this ecologist. They tell her how to do better science.
Why Philip Pullman Is Obsessed with Panpsychism
In the first book of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, The Golden Compass, Lord Asriel (played by James McAvoy in HBO’s adaptation of the book) discovers a mysterious substance, called Dust, that exists everywhere and seems to be implicated in consciousness. For Pullman, Dust is an expression of his fascination with panpsychism, the philosophical idea […]
Why Doesn’t Everybody Have Dark Skin Today?
Questions and answers about the science of skin color.
Why We’re Drawn Into Darkness
Author Robert MacFarlane on the awe and horror of subterranean places.
The Ancient Rites That Gave Birth to Religion
Sacred beliefs likely arose out of prehistoric bonding and rituals.
Yuval Noah Harari Is Worried About Our Souls
The big-data makeover of humanity could be a recipe for disaster.
Thomas Kuhn Threw an Ashtray at Me
Why Errol Morris is still outraged by the famous philosopher of science.
The Stranger Things That Gave Birth to Science
Finding regularity in nature is the bread and butter of science. We know that reptiles lay eggs, while mammals bear live young; the Earth revolves around the sun every 365.25 days; electrons glom onto protons like bears onto honey. But what if some oddity seems to defy the laws of nature, like the platypus, an […]
Roger Penrose On Why Consciousness Does Not Compute
The emperor of physics defends his controversial theory of mind.