‘Childhood has been rewired’: Professor Jonathan Haidt on how smartphones are damaging a generation

Something strange is happening with teenagers’ mental health. In Britain, the US, Australia and beyond, the same trend can be seen: around the middle of the last decade, the number of young people with anxiety, depression and even suicidal tendancies started to rise sharply. Jonathan Haidt, a psychology professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, noticed a change when students who were brought up with smartphones started to arrive on campus. They were angrier. More fragile. More likely to take offence. Social media, he concluded, was shaping their view that society is in permanent conflict, which in turn led to ideas about microaggressions and competitive victimhood. All this,

Would Richard Wagner have approved of the Wagner Group?

Wagnerian exile Would Richard Wagner have approved of the Wagner Group? While he is believed to have harboured anti-Semitic views and his music later became an inspiration for Adolf Hitler, the young Wagner was a left-wing activist. In 1849, in spite of serving with the Saxon court in Dresden, he joined an uprising against Prussian rule. He is believed to have been involved in making and distributing grenades and to have acted as a lookout. Several of his associates were killed or arrested and sentenced to death after the uprising failed, but Wagner fled to Switzerland. His exile had a happier outcome than that of Yevgeny Prigozhin, and he was

Will vaccinating teenagers really prevent disruption to schools?

After the JCVI recommended against offering vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 on health grounds, the government asked the four chief medical officers to consider the broader case, including the impact on schooling. As we know, the government has now accepted the chief medical officers’ recommendation: that all 12 to 15 year olds should be offered one dose of Pfizer on the grounds that doing so will reduce disruption to education. The government has released details of the modelling that underpins that rationale. The approach was first to estimate the number of infections with and without vaccination under different scenarios of infection spread. Next, they used this to model