Chris Vernon

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Unenlightened thinking: Steven Pinker’s embarrassing new book is a feeble sermon for rattled liberals

To think of this book as any kind of scholarly exercise is a category mistake. The purpose of Pinker’s laborious work is to reassure liberals that …

Western Philosophy

I was told impact metrics could make or break careers. Instead, they broke my faith in scientific research<p>The first time I heard about the impact factor I was a few weeks into my PhD. A candidate due to finish in a couple of months warned me emphatically: “It makes or breaks careers.” In my …

Social Sciences

How I discovered there are (at least) 14 different kinds of love by analysing the world's languages

No emotion, surely, is as cherished and sought after as love. Yet on occasions such as Valentine’s day, we can often be misled into thinking that it …

These 6 Easy Steps Can Debunk Any Climate Science Denier

Go on, give it a try!<p>A team of researchers has put a straight-forward critical thinking process to the test on 42 common climate science denier …

Critical Thinking

Researchers Discover 'Anxiety Cells' In The Brain

Scientists have found specialized brain cells in mice that appear to control anxiety levels.<p>The finding, reported Wednesday in the journal <i>Neuron,</i> could eventually lead to better treatments for anxiety disorders, which affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.<p>"The therapies we have now have …

Neuroscience

Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

... and the movies and TV shows we watch<p>Pamela Paul’s memories of reading are less about words and more about the experience. “I almost always remember where I was and I remember the book itself. I remember the physical object,” says Paul, the editor of <i>The New York Times Book Review</i>, who reads, it …

Books

Expert witnesses who claim parents have been wrongly accused have been vilified and struck off. But the science is anything but certain. What happens to the truth when experts can’t agree? By Will Storr<p>At first, Craig Stillwell and Carla Andrews only vaguely registered the change at the hospital; …

Crime

Science has outgrown the human mind

<i>The duty of man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads and… attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either</i> …

'Pronoia' and other emotions you never knew you had

In recent years, neuroscience has introduced a new way of thinking about our emotions. The scientists behind the latest brain-imaging studies say they can now pinpoint with precision where these feelings are located within our heads. In 2013, for instance, a team of psychologists published a study …

University of London