Living closer together

Urban density was once seen as a sign of unhealthiness and poverty. But today it is necessary to make cities sustainable.

James Lovelock obituary

Scientist, environmentalist, inventor and exponent of the Gaia theory of the Earth as a self-regulating system

The PR plot that seeded doubt about climate change

Thirty years ago, a bold plan was cooked up to spread doubt and persuade the public that climate change was not a problem. The little-known meeting forged a devastatingly successful strategy that endured for years, and the consequences of which are all around.

The UFO sightings that swept the US

Seventy-five years on from the first mysterious sightings in the US, Nicholas Barber looks back at one of the most haunting objects in popular culture.

James Webb telescope takes super sharp view of early cosmos

The first full-colour picture from the new James Webb Space Telescope has been released. The image is said to be the most detailed infrared view of the universe to date, containing the light from galaxies that has taken many billions of years to reach us.

‘Sand battery’ could solve green energy’s big problem

Finnish researchers have installed the world’s first fully working “sand battery”, which can store green power for months at a time. The developers say this could solve the problem of year-round supply, a major issue for green energy.

Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever

The “smart city” has been perhaps the dominant paradigm in urban planning recently. But Toronto’s alternative, with its emphasis on wind and rain and birds and bees rather than data, seems like a pragmatic response to the present moment.

Do we need a new theory of evolution?

A new wave of scientists argues that mainstream evolutionary theory needs an urgent overhaul. Their opponents have dismissed them as misguided careerists – and the conflict may determine the future of biology.

Archaeology: An ancient city reemerges in Iraq reservoir

Extreme drought in Iraq has given German and Kurdish archaeologists the unique chance to examine an ancient Bronze Age city, Zachiku. The team surveyed the city for seven weeks in January and February 2022 before it was completely flooded again.