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Who is a sportswoman?

Elite female athletes are subjected to invasive gender tests, and hormone treatments if they fail. This is deeply unfair By Silvia Camporesi Read at Aeon

There is a simple way to improve the world’s food systems

In recent decades, the international community has made impressive strides against hunger and undernourishment, as amply evidenced by the data from the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


A temporary installation by the US artist Shannon May Mackenzie, ‘Rotatio’ was, in her words, a work of ‘post-traumatic meditation, realisation and growth’.

The seductive lie of ‘Patient Zero’ and the outbreak narrative

In the lexicon of infectious diseases, the term ‘Patient Zero’ denotes the primary case of an outbreak, the first person to show symptoms of an illness.

Why do we get goosebumps?

The reason humans get goosebumps – or, to be technical, experience horripilation – when scared is simple enough: perceived threats are met with a rush of adrenaline through the bloodstream, causing muscle contractions that make hairs stand on end.

Show me the Monet

How wealthy Americans grew to appreciate the French Impressionist painter – as an artist but also as a financial asset By Ross King Read at Aeon

End of a golden age

Unprecedented growth marked the era from 1948 to 1973. Economists might study it forever, but it can never be repeated.

Our Universe is too vast for even the most imaginative sci-fi

As an astrophysicist, I am always struck by the fact that even the wildest science-fiction stories tend to be distinctly human in character.


‘...women are women and men are men. And muxes, well, they are muxes.’ The indigenous Zapotec communities of southern Mexico have long acknowledged ‘muxes’ as a third gender of people who are assigned as male at birth, but eventually become drawn to traditionally female roles.

Not owning a cellphone gives you time to ruminate and to rest

It is mildly subversive and perhaps a little quaint when someone clings to their flip phone and refuses a smartphone.

Intelligence: a history

Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction. No wonder we fear super-smart robots By Stephen Cave Read at Aeon

The Sleepwalker

Green, how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches. The ship out on the sea and the horse on the mountain.

Whatever you do, don’t call this an ‘interesting’ idea

My understanding of the word interesting came not from school but from a 14-inch black-and-white television showing Star Trek reruns in the late 1970s.

The Masada mystery

Have archaeologists proven the ancient tale of mass suicide in the Judaean desert or twisted science for political end?

San Siro

Originally opened in 1926 and most recently renovated in 2016, the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan – better known as San Siro stadium – is one of the most legendary athletic venues in the world, home to the revered (and reviled) AC Milan football club.

There is a moral argument for keeping great apes in zoos

I get apprehensive whenever someone asks me about my job. I’m a philosopher who works on the question of how language evolved, I reply.

Oliver Sacks on ripe bananas

In 1993, inspired by H G Wells’s short story 'The Country of the Blind' (1904), the renowned neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks set out to study life on Pingelap – a small Micronesian island where an estimated tenth of the population has achromatopsia, a rare genetic disorder that leaves people close to or entirely colourblind.

Sex and death in Homer

Why would Odysseus dump a hot nymph? Or toyboys lust after his wife Penelope? Unveiling the erotic mysteries of the Odyssey By C D C Reeve Read at Aeon

The Great Enrichment

This is how Europe became the richest place on earth: by being politically fragmented, yet intellectually united By Joel Mokyr Read at Aeon

On shared false memories: what lies behind the Mandela effect

Would you trust a memory that felt as real as all your other memories, and if other people confirmed that they remembered it too?