Science

‘Cassava with White Peacock Butterfly and young Golden Tegu’, 1702–3, by Maria Merian

The 17th century painter who hacked her way through Suriname in search of insects

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Maria Sibylla Merian was a game old bird of entrepreneurial bent, with an overwhelming obsession with insects. Born in Frankfurt…

Why Joan Bakewell must be right about anorexia

19 March 2016 9:00 am

You can always tell when a public figure has said something with the ring of truth about it by the…

Thin air and frayed tempers

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Born in New South Wales in 1888, George Finch climbed Mount Canobolas as a boy, unleashing, in the thin air,…

Humboldt talks to one of the indigenous people in Turbaco (today’s Columbia) en route to Bogotá.

Alexander Humboldt: a great explorer rediscovered

6 February 2016 9:00 am

The Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt was once the most famous man in Europe bar Napoleon. And if you judge…

‘If ever there was a Renaissance Man, John Dee was it’: from ‘The Order of the Inspirati’, 1659

John Dee thought he could talk to angels using medieval computer technology

16 January 2016 9:00 am

John Dee liked to talk to spirits but he was no loony witch, says Christopher Howse

The Jodrell Bank Observatory (Photo: Getty)

You can’t forget what Will Self says - even if you wish you could

28 November 2015 9:00 am

It lasted for just a few seconds but was such a graphic illustration of the statistics behind the bombing campaign…

Judy Garland as Esther Smith in Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

How Technicolor conquered cinema

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Peter Hoskin celebrates Technicolor’s 100th birthday

John Paul Stapp: the fastest man on earth, who saved millions

14 November 2015 9:00 am

There’s a moment in Craig Ryan’s spectacular biography of John Paul Stapp — the maverick American Air Force doctor who,…

Dreaming of bringing your favourite pet back to life? Soon it could be reality

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The super-rich are already bringing beloved dogs and horses back to life. Soon the rest of us will be able to do it too

Playing it cool: Nicole Kidman as Rosalind Franklin

Nicole Kidman is upstaged by everyone - even the set: Photograph 51 at the Noel Coward reviewed

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Michael Grandage’s latest show is about an old snap. Geneticists regard the X-ray of the hydrated ‘B’ form of DNA…

Why I’m sick of slippery-slope arguments

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Good laws and valuable scientific discoveries are being blocked with the laziest argument in the book

Letters: Booming churches, brilliant Swedes and who gets the VC

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Growing congregations Sir: I would like to take issue with Damian Thompson (‘Crisis of faith’, 13 June) and his assertions…

My new plan: let’s pay people benefits for not moving here

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Yet another exciting discovery from the world of Islamic science. As you are probably aware, Islamic culture has always paid…

Following Galileo’s discoveries, a rugged, cratered moon is depicted (with papal approval) by Ludovico Cigoli in his ‘Assumption of the Virgin in the Pauline Chapel’

Moving heaven and earth: Galileo’s subversive spyglass

11 April 2015 9:00 am

We live in an age of astronomical marvels. Last year Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft made a daring rendezvous with the comet…

As a republican, I used to look forward to Charles III. Now I’m scared

31 January 2015 9:00 am

The Prince of Wales has shown himself too vain to accept the limits of constitutional monarchy

Radio 4’s War and Peace: almost as good as the book

24 January 2015 9:00 am

To have listened to Radio 4’s marathon ten-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace as it was being broadcast on…

We're great and baboons are losers: this week's lesson from Brian Cox

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Anybody feeling a bit depressed about the shortcomings of humanity could do worse than watch Brian Cox’s new series Human…

I believe in animal research. But it’s time to draw a line

16 August 2014 9:00 am

I believe in animal research. But is there really a justification for using animals in biology lessons?

On the trail of a Victorian femme fatale

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Kate Colquhoun sets herself a number of significant challenges in her compelling new book, Did She Kill Him? Like Kate…

E.O. Wilson has a new explanation for consciousness, art & religion. Is it credible?

7 September 2013 9:00 am

His publishers describe this ‘ground-breaking book on evolution’ by ‘the most celebrated living heir to Darwin’ as ‘the summa work…

The Rocks Don’t Lie, by David R. Montgomery - review

31 August 2013 9:00 am

James McConnachie finds that theology and geology have been unlikely bedfellows for centuries

The Man Who Plants Trees, by Jim Robbins - review

8 June 2013 9:00 am

Remember the ‘Plant a Tree in ’73’ campaign? Forty years on, has anyone inquired into what happened to all those…

The Serpent’s Promise, by Steve Jones - review

11 May 2013 9:00 am

The weight of bacteria that each of us carries around is equal to that of our brain, a kilogram of…

What dogs know about us

2 March 2013 9:00 am

In Aesop’s fable of the Dog and the Wolf, the latter declares that it is better to starve free than…

A gruesome sort

31 March 2012 10:00 am

Everybody knows that the heart pumps blood around the body, and that a man called William Harvey somehow discovered this…