Our words and pictures explore the connections between science, medicine, life and art. Dive into one no matter where in the world you are.
What is structural violence?
Structural violence is seemingly invisible. But its tentacles have invaded every part of many people’s lives, thoughts, experiences and expectations, shaping them in ways they don’t even realise.
Why the truth is better than a happy ending
Caroline Butterwick often uses lived experience to inform her journalism, but she’s discovered a tension between the truth and stories that will sell.
- Book extract
Tracing the roots of our fears and fixations
Kate Summerscale explores the history of our anxieties and compulsions, and the new phobias and manias that are always emerging.
Why do victims become violent?
Witnessing both overt violence and coercive control can cause invisible harm to children. But preventing them from repeating that behaviour in the future remains a challenge.
What our facial hair says about us
Five bearded and moustachioed men choose five hirsute archive images to help them reflect on the way facial hair is linked with personality and identity.
Where does violence come from?
The popular understanding of certain ideas in psychology have become so embedded that it’s easy to blame the parents when a young person commits a crime. Laura Bui looks to the past for evidence.
- Long read
The ambivalence of air
Daisy Lafarge investigates the effects of air quality and pressure on body and mind, exploring air as cure, but one with contradictions.
Are people born violent?
Laura Bui explores how the nature vs nurture debate applies to those who commit homicide.
- Book extract
Naked, not nude
Classicist Caroline Vout argues that it’s time to take the dust covers off the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and to encounter their bodies not nude, but naked.
“The foole doth thinke he is wise, but the wise man knowes himselfe to be a foole.”
What is violence?
Criminologist Laura Bui explores her early understanding of violence and outlines its definition and wider consequences.
What is air, and how do we know?
Watching bubbles in fermenting beer led 18th-century scientist Joseph Priestley to invent sparkling water – and to discover that different gases make up the air we breathe.
- In pictures
Laughing gas and the scientific pursuit of the sublime
Part science lecture. part public spectacle, thanks to chemist Humphry Davy the 19th-century craze for inhaling nitrous oxide rapidly spread from the science laboratory to fashionable salons and homes of the day, and onto the popular stage.
- In pictures
Anxiety in the air
Our centuries-old fear of disease-carrying “bad air” might have been modified by scientific advances, but it’s still liable to re-emerge under the right circumstances, as Kirsten Nicholson explains.
Eugenics and the welfare state
Indy Bhullar explores the ideas of William Beveridge and Richard Titmuss, who were strongly influenced by eugenic thinking, and yet championed the idea of the welfare state.