Berfrois

The Order of the Dolphin was dismayed…

The Order of the Dolphin was dismayed…

As the 1960s opened, the Order of the Dolphin was dismayed as it became clearer that the Milky Way was no cacophonous cloud of thinking stars...

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Doctored

Doctored

We are living, at least in the West, in the days of the health religion. And whoever doubts it is a blasphemer...

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When you’re listening to jazz, you lose your sense of time…

When you’re listening to jazz, you lose your sense of time…

We're in a dance with the tools we make and the technologies we create...

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Investigating the Genetic Origins of the Platypus’s Weirdness

Investigating the Genetic Origins of the Platypus’s Weirdness

It was reported that platypus fur glows blue-green under UV light...

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What was Dilophosaurus really like?

What was Dilophosaurus really like?

The animal that departed most from the fossil evidence was Dilophosaurus. In the movie, it takes the form of a golden retriever–sized creature with a rattling frill and venomous spit...

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Promising Exoplanets

Promising Exoplanets

If humans are capable of instigating multiple origins of life under a broader array of circumstances than life currently exists, ought we to do it?

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Science needs birds and frogs…

Science needs birds and frogs…

If the history of physics with its creative interplay between frogs and birds is any guide, there is much cause for optimism...

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And Yet as Mortal

And Yet as Mortal

H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel The War of the Worlds has never lost its power to unsettle, but it has become peculiarly resonant with the arrival of Covid-19...

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Space Rubbish Collection

Space Rubbish Collection

As the debris spiralled downward, gathering speed, the Air Force was keeping a close watch, but small things in space can easily evade detection...

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Our cognition continues to be emotionally led…

Our cognition continues to be emotionally led…

In the realm of public opinion, climate change isn’t a scientific issue, it’s a political one. Climate change science is relatively new and technically...

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Unherd Immunity

Unherd Immunity

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, supported by Downing Street, has persistently denied that attaining herd immunity, by allowing the disease to infect most people, was ever a policy, goal, strategy or even “part of the plan”.

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Sparking a Fever for Botanical Knowledge

Sparking a Fever for Botanical Knowledge

Mimosa pudica. Image via Wikimedia Commons From Lapham’s Quarterly: Sometime around the late eighteenth century, the French botanist René-Louiche Desfontaines took a plant on an outing around Paris in a horse-drawn carriage. At the time, botany was just emerging as an independent science separate from medicine and herbalism. Desfontaines, who’d...

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Click. Or don’t. Your call.

Click. Or don’t. Your call.

A growing chorus says that science has shown free will to be an illusion. But it actually has offered arguments in its favor.

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Substrata of Substratum

Substrata of Substratum

The title of Lee Smolin’s new book may seem a little puzzling, given that Albert Einstein notoriously chose to disregard quantum mechanics rather than suggesting an alternative to it.

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They Can Tell

They Can Tell

Before they started their successful wildcat strike last year, West Virginia teachers railed against the introduction of a workplace wellness program called Go365.

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CRISPR’s World

CRISPR’s World

When the journal Science chose the radical gene-editing technology CRISPR as its 2015 breakthrough of the year, the editorial team closed its description on a dire note.

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Do children fall in love?

Do children fall in love?

Do children really fall in love? Amanda Rose, a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri who focuses on friendships and peer relationships in childhood and adolescence...

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What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’

What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’

‘The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One,’ wrote Albert Einstein in December 1926. ‘I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.’ 

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Are You and Your Microbes a Community or a Single Entity?

Are You and Your Microbes a Community or a Single Entity?

Cicadas might be a pest, but they’re special in a few respects. For one, these droning insects have a habit of emerging after a prime number of years...

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‘As billions more come online’

‘As billions more come online’

Berners-Lee, who never directly profited off his invention, has also spent most of his life trying to guard it. While Silicon Valley started ride-share apps and social-media networks without profoundly considering the consequences, Berners-Lee has spent the past three decades thinking about little else.

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