The Best of The Conversation
20+ most popular The Conversation articles, as voted by our community.
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New this Week
These are fresh off the press.
Stephen Hawking: Martin Rees looks back on colleague’s spectacular success against all odds
UK’s Astronomer Royal Martin Rees shares his memories of the physicist Stephen Hawking, who has died at the age of 76.
The multiverse: how we’re tackling the challenges facing the theory
From string theory to observations, the multiverse theory is far from safe.
Explainer: what are gravitational waves?
If you understand how a trampoline works, you’ll be able to understand what gravitational waves are.
Stephen Hawking and I created his final theory of the cosmos
The enigma at the centre of our 20-year collaboration was how the Big Bang could have created conditions so perfectly hospitable to life
We did a breakthrough ‘speed test’ in quantum tunnelling, and here’s why that’s exciting
Things get weird at the quantum level and now we know they can happen really fast when a particle pushes through an almost insurmountable barrier.
These are currently making the rounds on Refind.
Why do mass shooters kill? It’s about more than having a grievance
Is there ever a satisfactory answer to questions about what motivated a mass shooter? There is, but it’s not what you think.
«at the hands of some real or imagined culprits»
The unbearable allure of cringe
What does secondhand embarrassment say about your own anxieties and biases?
Are you financially literate? Here are 7 signs you’re on the right track
Even in the best of times, managing your finances is hard. We’re told to make sure we are financially literate but what does that mean in practice? Here are seven signs you’ve got the basics.
AI could make more work for us, instead of simplifying our lives
Automation may not reduce our workloads as much as we’d hoped.
Owning houseplants can boost your mental health
How do different houseplants boost mental health? A new study investigates the psychological responses of 520 people to the appearance of different plants.
The Conversation on ADHD
Strategies and life hacks to help anyone with ADHD and those who struggle without a diagnosis
Although medication and therapy can be effective treatments for ADHD, they’re not the only way to manage the disorder or its symptoms. Creating a daily routine is critical too.
ADHD looks different in adults. Here are 4 signs to watch for
By adulthood, ADHD symptoms may be more internalised but they can also cause grown up problems.
The Conversation on Cancer
How cancer cells can become immortal – new research finds a mutated gene that helps melanoma defeat…
One enzyme plays a key role in how tumor cells replicate and divide indefinitely. Identifying the genes that give these cells their immortality could provide new drug targets to treat cancer.
The Conversation on Diet
Diet can influence mood, behavior and more. A neuroscientist explains
Diets high in fat, sugar and processed foods are associated with higher calorie intake, poorer memory and lower cognitive function.
The Conversation on Electric Vehicles
If all the vehicles in the world were to convert to electric, would it be quieter?
Noise pollution is a serious problem, and cars make a lot of it. But roads are also a factor.
How climate-friendly is an electric car? It all comes down to where you live
Even if all passenger vehicles sold today were electric, it would take more than ten years for the Australian road fleet to be fully electric.
The Conversation on Health
Depression is probably not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain
A new shows there’s no clear evidence that depression is caused by abnormally low levels of serotonin in the brain.
«drug trials show that antidepressants are barely distinguishable from a placebo (dummy pill) when it comes to treating depression.»
The faster you walk, the better for long term health
A new study found those who reported walking faster were less likely to die prematurely.
«Long term-health benefits aside, a faster pace will get us to our destination faster and free up time for all those other things that can make our daily routines special, such as spending time with loved ones or reading a good book.»
The Conversation on Jesus
The long history of how Jesus came to resemble a white European
Recent protests on racial justice have also questioned the portrayal of Jesus as a white man. An art historian explains how this image appeared and came to be marketed worldwide.
What did Jesus wear?
We may imagine Jesus in long robes with baggy sleeves, but this is far from how he would have dressed.
The Conversation on Medicine
Unregulated ‘innovation’: India’s medicine problem
India’s drug regulation is loose and results in dangerous medicines being sold at home and abroad.
Cancer evolution is mathematical – how random processes and epigenetics can explain why tumor cells shape-shift, metastasize and…
An epigenetic model of cancer that incorporates the concept of stochasticity could also explain why cancer risk increases with age and how biological development can be reversible.
The Conversation on Nature
Nature versus nurture: how modern science is rewriting it
The evolution of reading clearly demonstrates that nature and nurture are intimately linked.
Bees can learn, remember, think and make decisions
Scientists are learning amazing things about bees’ sensory perception and mental capabilities.
The Conversation on Physics
Life: modern physics can’t explain it – but our new theory, which says time is fundamental, might
The key to understanding why life is not explainable in current physics may be to reconsider our notions of time and information.
Great Mysteries of Physics 1: is time an illusion?
Physics makes a lot of assumptions about time that may be getting in the way of understanding the fourth dimension.
The Conversation on Space
The length of Earth’s days has been mysteriously increasing, and scientists don’t know why
The length of a day has critical impacts on our technologies, navigation, and more.
Five ways artificial intelligence can help space exploration
Artificial intelligence can help us venture further in space.
These are some all-time favorites with Refind users.
How to break unhealthy habits: Stop obsessing over willpower and focus on routines
Understanding and changing the environment in which habits form is a critical step when it comes to breaking unwanted behaviors and forming healthy ones.
«Another path to habit change involves friction: in other words, making it difficult to act on undesirable habits and easy to act on desirable ones.»
How mindfulness and dance can stimulate a part of the brain that can improve mental health
The brain’s somatosensory cortex may help enrich our emotional experiences and improve our mental health. Mindfulness and dance movement therapy may be effective ways to activate it.
«Those factors can enhance overall self-awareness, which contributes to improvement of mental health through potential reorganization of the somatosensory cortex.»
Why can’t you remember being born, learning to walk or saying your first words? What scientists know…
Psychologists know babies can form memories soon after birth. So why can’t people remember anything that happened to them before around age 2? A child development expert describes possible reasons.
Cognitive biases and brain biology help explain why facts don’t change minds
Here are some reasons for the natural human tendency to avoid or reject new information that runs counter to what you already know – and some tips on how to do better.
«confirmation bias. It’s the natural tendency to seek out information or interpret things in a way that supports your existing beliefs.»
US is becoming a ‘developing country’ on global rankings that measure democracy, inequality
The United States came in 41st worldwide on the UN’s 2022 sustainable development index, down nine spots from last year. A political historian explains the country’s dismal scores.
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