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Silicon Valley wants to mess with your head

Artificial intelligence programmes are not yet conscious – but there are “no obvious technical barriers” to its achievement in future, concluded a team of 19 leading computer scientists and philosophers in August.


Sam Bankman-Fried and the effective altruism delusion

The moral philosopher met a brilliant American maths student who wanted to know how he could do the most good in the world. How about becoming a banker, the philosopher said. No, seriously. Think of it like this. With his high grades, the student…


The Research Brief: how local authorities can lead on nature-based climate solutions

Welcome to the Research Brief, where Spotlight, the New Statesman’s policy section, brings you the pick of recent publications from the government, think tank, charity and NGO world. To see more editions of the Research Brief click here. What are we…


The SNP needs to set Scotland’s childcare sector free

One of the brighter moments in Scotland’s recent Programme for Government was Humza Yousaf’s commitment to a further expansion of childcare. This has been a consistent SNP objective for many years, and it’s a welcome one.


Why climate despair is a luxury

When you take on hope, you take on its opposites and opponents: despair, defeatism, cynicism and pessimism. And, I would argue, optimism. What all these enemies of hope have in common is confidence about what is going to happen, a false certainty…


The man who lives on rubbish

Dumpster-diving with Patrick O’Hare, the anthropologist fighting for our right to what people throw away.


Why an end to economic growth is inevitable

Fifty years after the Limits to Growth report was published, the concept of post-growth remains largely taboo.


Scotland’s forests are the largest they have been for 900 years

The share of Scotland that is forested has increased from 6 per cent a century ago to around 18 per cent today.


“We grow meat from cells, they are just not connected to a cow”: Didier Toubia on the future of farming

Reducing the environmental impact of meat is becoming big business. The CEO of Aleph Farm explains why he is betting on lab-grown meat.


How forests are helping Rwanda heal the climate and its communities

Planting millions of trees is part of the national recovery from the 1994 genocide, when 800,000 people were killed.


How the world is winning the fight against neglected tropical diseases

New drugs have made the elimination of horrific conditions such as sleeping sickness feasible.


Could self-cooling clothes help us survive future heatwaves?

As Britain hits 39C today, scientists are working on new ways to keep our bodies cool. 


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