What will we do when all our jobs are done for us?

22 June 2024 9:00 am

The philosopher Nick Bostrom speculates imaginatively about the travails of extreme leisure, but we don’t get any guru-like nuggets

Those magnificent men and their stargazing machines

8 June 2024 9:00 am

Violet Moller focuses on three 16th-century‘heroes of science’, John Dee, Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe, and their great libraries and observatories

The endless fascination of volcanoes

11 May 2024 9:00 am

Tamsin Mather is the latest highly articulate volcanologist to combine vivid personal experience with thoughtful scientific explanation

A surprising number of scientists believe in little green men

4 May 2024 9:00 am

Eminent astronomers have explained cosmic anomalies as alien megastructures and spaceships, while the source of the celebrated Wow! signal remains anyone’s guess

Why won’t Chris Packham have a real debate on climate?

27 April 2024 9:00 am

On Sunday, the BBC did something unusual. It invited Luke Johnson, a climate contrarian, to join a panel with Laura…

Are we finally beginning to understand gravity?

13 April 2024 9:00 am

Claudia de Rham explores the true nature of this fundamental force as she struggles against received wisdom to get a new theory of ‘massive gravity’ recognised

What we owe to the self-taught genius Carl Linnaeus

13 April 2024 9:00 am

Bumptious, uncouth and the despair of his schoolmasters, Linnaeus died almost forgotten. Yet he established a system of taxonomy that we still use two centuries later

Dinosaurs, dogma and the Victorian mind

9 March 2024 9:00 am

The ‘monsters’ dug from the cliffs of Lyme Regis did not sit well with the literal reading of Genesis – but many other issues contributed to the famed Victorian crisis of faith

Life is a far richer, more complicated affair than we imagined

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Exploring the new biology, Philip Hall explains how genes do not in fact determine our fate, and how cells can be reprogrammed to perform all kinds of new tasks

Now imagine a white hole – a black hole’s time-reversed twin…

28 October 2023 9:00 am

Just as you can enter a black hole without leaving it, you can exit a white hole without entering it – but first you must understand what black holes really are

An absolute earful

7 October 2023 9:00 am

Singing sands, the dawn chorus and the crackle of the Northern Lights are among the many natural wonders explored in Caspar Henderson’s paean to the act of listening

Why driving above the speed limit is a mug’s game

23 September 2023 9:00 am

Imagine you are choosing between two proposed road-improvement plans, but have the budget for only one. Both of the roads…

Science fiction: the crisis in research

12 August 2023 9:00 am

The crisis in research

Circular arguments

1 July 2023 9:00 am

Aristotle had long proved that the Earth was spherical, and even the illiterate masses of early medieval Europe were aware of the fact, says James Hannam

The science of horse racing

3 June 2023 9:00 am

Everybody in racing is looking for an edge. With 7-4 the field, the punter is looking for a 2-1. The…

How science became politicised

3 September 2022 9:00 am

Here’s a paradox. Over the past two-and-a-half years, a cadre of senior politicians and their ‘expert’ advisers across the world…

In search of the peripatetic philosopher Theophrastus

20 August 2022 9:00 am

Publishers lately seem to have got the idea that otherwise uncommercial subjects might be rendered sexy if presented with a…

A tribute to my friend James Lovelock

30 July 2022 3:00 pm

The scientist James Lovelock died this week at the age of 103. He was best known for his Gaia theory,…

The musical note that can trigger cold sweats and sightings of the dead

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Imagine that all the frequencies nature affords were laid out on an extended piano keyboard. Never mind that some waves…

It’s a miracle this exhibition even exists: Audubon’s Birds of America reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

In 2014, an exhibition of watercolours by the renowned avian artist, John James Audubon, opened in New York. The reviews,…

Know your left from your right: the brain’s divided hemispheres

12 February 2022 9:00 am

The dust jacket of The Matter With Things quotes a large statement from an Oxford professor: ‘This is one of…

Why we should study literature, not science

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Gstaad Who was it who said good manners had gone the way of black and white TV? Actually it was…

The forgotten Einstein: how John von Neumann shaped the modern world

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Why isn’t John von Neumann better known?