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Katy Balls

After Sturgeon: what’s the future for Scotland – and the Union?

When news broke of Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation, the first reaction among Tory ministers was delight. For years, she had been one of their most formidable opponents and potent threats: perhaps the only politician capable of leading a Scottish independence campaign to victory. Without her, what would happen to the SNP? But then the elation faded.

What Lenten fasting has in common with Tough Mudder

Ash Wednesday is upon us, and it is once again time to meditate on the unusually self-aware admission of Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.’ It has until now been an exceptionally good season for beef. Grass-fed steak

Paper dragons: is Chinese science all it’s cracked up to be?

At the tail end of last year, Chinese scientists claimed they had achieved something world-changing. In a widely circulated paper, the researchers said they had developed an algorithm run on a quantum computer that is able to break the best encryption that exists today. Modern encryption runs on mathematical problems which take the most powerful

The truth about UFOs

New York Even if Chinese spy balloons – or alien spacecraft scouting the planet ahead of their coming invasion – start being deployed more discreetly than they have been of late, there will still be more sightings than usual of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs: a new set of initials designed to help UFOs shed their

Revealed: Aberdeen’s ‘curriculum decolonising’ plans

The Granite City is an unlikely front in the cultural revolution, but Aberdeen University is about to change that. A document from the institution’s education committee has been passed to me. Titled ‘Decolonising the Curriculum – Timelines and Approval Processes’, it sets out plans to ‘embed a bold, progressive and sustained programme of antiracist curricular

How consultancy infantilises governments: Mariana Mazzucato and Rory Sutherland in conversation

Mariana Mazzucato is a professor in the economics of innovation and public value at University College London. She speaks to The Spectator’s Wiki Man, Rory Sutherland, about the book she has co-authored with Rosie Collington, The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens our Businesses, Infantilises our Governments and Warps our Economies.  RORY SUTHERLAND: I’d like to

Notes on...

The cultural life of orcas

Male killer whales are all mummy’s boys. That’s not a revelation; their curious and intense social lives have been studied for decades, but the extent to which a male orca depends on his mother has been revealed by new research, which shows that mothers routinely sacrifice their food and their energies for their enormous male