Works in Progress team

Sam Bowman, Saloni Dattani, Ben Southwood and Nick Whitaker are the Works in Progress team.

Adam Hunt
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Adam Hunt is a researcher in evolutionary psychiatry and PhD candidate at the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zurich.

The evolution of psychiatry

Words by Adam Hunt

Modern psychiatry appears to be at a standstill, wanting for better treatment and a substantive theoretical framework. Evolutionary theory has the potential to reinvigorate the field.

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Science
Andrea O’Sullivan
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Andrea O’Sullivan is the director of the Center for Technology and Innovation at the James Madison Institute.

Anton Howes
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Anton Howes is an economic historian. He is the author of Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation, available here.

Anvar Sarygulov
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Anvar Sarygulov is co-founder of Boom, and has previously worked on welfare, housing and healthcare policy.

Anya Martin
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Anya Martin is an economist and the former director of the affordable housing campaign group PricedOut.

Houston, we have a solution

Words by Anya Martin

Houston was notorious for its sprawl. But it has seen a gentle density revolution since the 1990s. Allowing neighborhoods to opt out of citywide reforms was crucial in its transformation.

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Texas

A place in the sun

Words by Anya Martin

While rents have been soaring for years in urban areas around the world, one Australian city has weathered the storm. What can the world learn from the experiences of Sydney?

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Economics
Aria Babu
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Aria Babu is a senior researcher at The Entrepreneurs Network.

Womb for improvement

Words by Aria Babu

Pregnancy can be arduous, painful and for some women impossible. New technology may allow more women to have children, and save the lives of more prematurely born infants. How do we get there?

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Science
Audrey Schulman

Audrey Schulman is a novelist and the co-founder and co-executive director of HEET, an environmental non-profit organization. Her latest book The Dolphin House is available here.

Ben Adler
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Ben Adler is an editor for USA Today.

Ben Southwood
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Ben Southwood is a founding editor of Works in Progress. He has been head of research at Create Streets, and head of housing at Policy Exchange, been part of three successful Emergent Ventures grants, and worked as a public sector consultant for KPMG.

Benjamin Reinhardt
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Benjamin Reinhardt works on accelerating science and blogs on his website.

Bo Malmberg
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Bo Malmberg is a Professor at the Department of Geography of Stockholm University. His main areas of focus are human geography, demography and segregation.

Brian Potter
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Brian Potter is the author of the newsletter Construction Physics.

Byrne Hobart
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Byrne Hobart is a finance blogger and writer of the newsletter The Diff.

Caleb Watney
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Caleb Watney is the co-founder and co-CEO of the Institute for Progress.

Campbell Nilsen

Campbell Nilsen is a schoolteacher and independent researcher living on the East Coast of the United States. He may be reached at campbell.nilsen@gmail.com.

Olivine weathering

Words by Campbell Nilsen

Olivine is a green mineral that reacts with CO2 in the ocean to form a harmless silt. This reaction might be the key to slowing down climate change, or reversing it altogether.

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Carlton Reid
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Carlton Reid is a journalist and historian. 

Cody Moser
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Cody Moser PhD student in the Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences at UC Merced.

Colin O’Reilly
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Colin O’Reilly is an associate professor of economics at Creighton University.

David Schönholzer
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David Schönholzer is an Assistant Professor of Economics at IIES, Stockholm University. He studies the role of governance, household preferences, and state capacity in the efficient provision of public goods.

Davis Kedrosky
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Davis Kedrosky is an economic historian at the University of California, Berkeley.

Diana Fleischman
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Diana Fleischman is an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Portsmouth.

Duncan McClements
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Duncan McClements is a Research Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute and student at King’s College Cambridge. 

DataWrapper block

Words by Duncan McClements

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed consectetur libero in magna tincidunt, nec aliquam velit volutpat. Proin lorem odio, vulputate eu justo ac, gravida sagittis nisl. Maecenas tincidunt sagittis augue eget vehicula. Sed suscipit sagittis suscipit. Mauris in nulla nec ipsum placerat placerat. Donec finibus blandit viverra. Morbi vitae imperdiet mauris, quis fermentum […]

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Kidneys
Ed Conway
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Ed Conway is economics and data editor of Sky News and author of the book Material World.

The discovery of copper

Words by Ed Conway

Today’s world requires vastly more copper than you could imagine, and the world of electric vehicles will require even more. That means finding new ways to find and extract copper from the earth’s crust and oceans.

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Copper
Eleanor West
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Eleanor West is a former member of Generation Zero, a New Zealand-based, youth-led climate action group, which in 2021 successfully coordinated a YIMBY campaign in Wellington. She is currently studying urban and economic geography at Utrecht University.

Eli Dourado
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Eli Dourado is a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

Nanotechnology’s spring

Words by Eli Dourado

Nanotechnology sometimes sounds as much like science fiction as artificial intelligence once did. But the problems holding it back seem solvable, and some of the answers may lie inside our own bodies.

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Science
Ellen Pasternack
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Ellen Pasternack is a PhD student in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Oxford.

Emily Hamilton
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Emily Hamilton is director of the Urbanity Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

How DC densified

Words by Emily Hamilton

Washington, DC, has avoided the worst price rises that have plagued many other growing American cities. Arlington’s transit-oriented development might be the reason.

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Density
Eric Gilliam
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Eric Gilliam researches how twentieth century research organizations operated, in order to improve today’s R&D with the Good Science Project.

Étienne Fortier-Dubois
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Étienne Fortier-Dubois is a writer and coder based in Montreal. .

Guillaume Blanc

Guillaume Blanc is an Assistant Professor of Economics at The University of Manchester and Deputy Director at the Arthur Lewis Lab for Comparative Development.

Hannah Ritchie
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Hannah Ritchie is the deputy editor and lead researcher at Our World in Data, where she writes on topics such as agriculture, energy and the environment.

Hannes Malmberg
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Hannes Malmberg is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is currently researching input intensification in agriculture, the role of human capital and market integration in economic development, and the macroeconomic effects of population aging.

Heidi Williams
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Heidi Williams is an economist at Stanford University and the director of science policy at the Institute for Progress.

Hiawatha Bray
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Hiawatha Bray is a technology columnist for The Boston Globe and author of You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves.

The future of silk

Words by Hiawatha Bray

Silk is stronger than steel or kevlar. We are already using it to transport vaccines without cold chains and make automatically dissolving stitches. What else could it be used for?

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Silk
J. Zachary Mazlish
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J. Zachary Mazlish is a doctoral candidate in economics at Oxford University. 

Jack Devanney

Jack Devanney was the principal engineer and architect of the ThorCon molten salt reactor power plant and the author of Why Has Nuclear Power Been a Flop.

Jason Collins
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Jason Collins is an economist who writes about the intersection of economics and evolutionary biology.

Jason Crawford
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Jason Crawford is the author of The Roots of Progress, where he writes about the history of technology and the philosophy of progress.

Jason Hausenloy
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Jason Hausenloy is an independent AI policy researcher. He was previously a visiting fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research.

Jeffrey Mason
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Jeff Mason is research associate at Charter Cities Institute.

Jeremy Driver
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Jeremy Driver is a political commentator and author of the Substack, Normielisation. He is also known for coining the phrase “cheems mindset.”

John Kroencke
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John Kroencke is a PhD candidate and graduate lecturer at George Mason University.

John Myers
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John Myers is co-founder of the London YIMBY and YIMBY Alliance campaigns in the UK.

Taming the stars

Words by John Myers

Cheap, safe nuclear power is possible, but is all but prohibited in most Western countries. A regulatory sandbox for fission could shake us out of our regulatory sclerosis.

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Fission
José Luis Ricón
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José Luis Ricón is a book reviewer and blogger on various topics including longevity and a roadmap for the future of science at Nintil.

Judge Glock
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Judge Glock is the director of research and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor at City Journal. 

Keller Scholl
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Keller Scholl is a researcher in AI policy and PhD candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Lauren Gilbert

Lauren Gilbert works on finding new cause areas for Open Philanthropy to fund. She holds a MA in political science from UC San Diego, MS in physics from UC San Diego, and a BS in physics from Caltech.

Léa Zinsli

Léa Zinsli is a microbiologist at ETH Zurich.

Age of the bacteriophage

Words by Léa Zinsli

Bacteriophages – viruses that infect bacterial cells – were almost forgotten in the age of antibiotics. Now as bacterial resistance grows, they may return to help us in our hour of need.

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Science
Leopold Aschenbrenner
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Leopold Aschenbrenner is a student in economics at Columbia University and research affiliate at the University of Oxford’s Global Priorities Institute.

Mano Majumdar
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Mano Majumdar is a management consultant at a global consulting firm. He has a background in chemical engineering, and has taught at a leading Canadian business school. 

Mark Koyama
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Mark Koyama is an economic historian at George Mason University.

Mark Lutter
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Mark Lutter is founder and executive director of the Charter Cities Institute.

Marko Garlick
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Marko Garlick is a solicitor. In 2021, he helped coordinate Generation Zero, a climate group which ran a YIMBY campaign in Wellington, New Zealand. It successfully fought for wide-scale upzoning of the city.

Mathias Kirk Bonde
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Mathias Kirk Bonde is the co-founder and director of the Center for Effective Aid Policy

Matt Clancy
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Matt Clancy is a researcher on the economics of innovation at Iowa State University. He publishes a newsletter called New Things Under The Sun on new research related to innovation.

Matthew Feeney
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Matthew Feeney is the head of technology and innovation at the Center for Policy Studies.

Michael Dnes

Michael Dnes is a civil servant at the UK Department for Transport. He is also the author of the book The Rise and Fall of London’s Ringways, 1943–1973.

London’s lost ringways

Words by Michael Dnes

A monstrous plan to build major motorways through some of London’s greatest neighborhoods fell apart. But the price was the birth of the NIMBY movement, and a permanent ceiling on Britain’s infrastructure ambitions.

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Politics
Natália Coelho Mendonça
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Natália Coelho Mendonça is a software engineer and blogger based in San Francisco.

Nathaniel Bechhofer
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Nathaniel Bechhofer is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of California San Diego.

Neil Hacker
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Neil Hacker is pursuing a MSc in Computer Science at Imperial College London. 

Buyers of first resort

Words by Neil Hacker

How do technologies get off the ground? As well as seed funding, many of the best technologies require Buyers of First Resort, which buy products until they improve enough to get to efficient scale.

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Economics
Nick Cowen
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Nick Cowen is a criminologist at the University of Lincoln.

Nick Whitaker
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Nick Whitaker is a founding editor of Works in Progress. He studied philosophy at Brown University where he was a member of the PPE Society, founded Brown Effective Altruism, and conducted interviews for Brown Political Review.

Better eats

Words by Nick Whitaker

The kitchen of 2020 looks mostly the same as that of 1960. But what we do in it has changed dramatically, almost entirely for the better—due to a culture of culinary innovation.

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Culture
Niko McCarty
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Niko McCarty blogs about biology and the future in his newsletter, Codon.

Patrick McKenzie (patio11)
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Patrick McKenzie, also known as @Patio11, works for the internet at Stripe and writes Bits About Money.

Paul Niehaus
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Paul Niehaus is an economist at the University of California San Diego and is a cofounder of GiveDirectly.

Pedro Serôdio
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Pedro Serôdio is a lecturer in economics at Middlesex University London.

Peter Suderman
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Peter Suderman is features editor at Reason Magazine and the author of the Cocktails With Suderman newsletter on Substack. He lives in Washington, DC.

The cocktail revolution

Words by Peter Suderman

Cocktails aren’t what they used to be – and that’s a good thing. The search for fresher and more novel ingredients from ever further afield continues to revolutionize mixology for the better.

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Cocktails
Phoebe Arslanagic-Wakefield
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Phoebe Arslanagic-Wakefield is co-founder of Boom and Chair of the Women in Think Tanks Forum.

Rachel Glennerster
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Rachel Glennerster is associate professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. She was previously chief economist at the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and the Department for International Development and a key figure behind ‘Deworm the World’.

Rachel Laudan
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Rachel Laudan is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. 

The daily grind

Words by Rachel Laudan

Before grinding mills were invented, the preparation of flour for food was an arduous task largely carried out by women for hours every day. How did it affect their lives and why does it remain a tradition in some places even today?

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Culture
Richard Williamson

Richard Williamson works on vaccine development at Alvea.bio. 

Robin Grier
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Robin Grier is a professor at Texas Tech University, and the co-author of The Long Process of Development: Building Markets and States in Pre-Industrial England, Spain, and their Colonies.

Ronan Lyons
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Ronan Lyons is an economist at Trinity College Dublin.

Ryan Murphy
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Ryan Murphy is a research associate professor in economics at the Bridwell Institute at Southern Methodist University and co-author on the Economic Freedom of the World index. 

Saloni Dattani
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Saloni Dattani is a founding editor of Works in Progress, and a researcher on global health at Our World in Data.

Sam Bowman
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Sam Bowman is a founding editor of Works in Progress. Previously, he was director of competition policy at the ICLE, principal at Fingleton, and executive director of the Adam Smith Institute.

Sam Dumitriu

Sam Dumitriu is Head of Policy at Britain Remade. Before joining Britain Remade, he worked at a range of Westminster think tanks.

Samuel Hughes
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Samuel Hughes is a research fellow at the University of Oxford and head of housing at the Centre for Policy Studies.

Making architecture easy

Words by Samuel Hughes

Unlike nearly all other arts, architecture is inherently public and shared. That means that buildings should be designed to be agreeable – easy to like – not to be unpopular works of genius.

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Tonality

In praise of pastiche

Words by Samuel Hughes

Building traditionalist architecture today is derided as inauthentic pastiche. But this perspective turns a blind eye to the dramatic and sophisticated ways that design has been applied throughout history.

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Culture
Samuel Watling
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Samuel Watling is a researcher and staff writer at Works in Progress.

The road from serfdom

Words by Samuel Watling

Unwinding Russian serfdom took half a century. To eventually do it in the face of powerful opposition took a remarkable approach that let peasants vote themselves into freedom.

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Stolypin
Sarah Perry
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Sarah Perry is an independent scholar in scenic Reno, Nevada.

How trust undermines science

Words by Sarah Perry

Our success is based on scientific discovery, so it’s not surprising how much faith we put into it. But we now trust science so implicitly that our trust undermines the institution itself.

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Science
Scott Alexander
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Scott Alexander is a psychiatrist and the creator of the blog Slate Star Codex. He recently launched a new newsletter, Astral Codex Ten. 

Séb Krier
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Séb Krier is an AI policy researcher. He works in international policy at DeepMind, and previously at Stanford University and the UK’s Office for AI.

Siddhartha Haria
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Siddhartha Haria is policy lead at the Development Innovation Lab.

Stephan J. Guyenet
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Stephan J. Guyenet is a former neuroscience and obesity researcher and the author of the book The Hungry Brain. 

Stephen Davies

Stephen Davies is a historian.

Stewart Brand
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Stewart Brand is a writer and founder of the Long Now Foundation.

The Maintenance Race

Words by Stewart Brand

The world’s first round-the-world solo yacht race was a thrilling and, for some, deadly contest. Its contestants’ efforts can teach us about the art of maintenance.

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Culture
Stripe Press
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Stripe Press publishes ideas for progress in science, technology, and economics. You can find their work here.

Stuart Buck
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Stuart Buck is the vice president of research at Arnold Ventures.

Stuart Ritchie
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Stuart Ritchie is a psychologist at King’s College London and author of the book Science Fictions.

The great reinforcer

Words by Stuart Ritchie

Alongside all the successes of science in the Covid era, the pandemic has also sparked an outbreak of viral misinformation and sloppy research, revealing the glaring flaws in our scientific system.

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Sue Márquez
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Sue Márquez is a manager and data scientist at the Rockefeller Foundation.

Burying the lead

Words by Sue Márquez

Researchers have known for decades that lead poisoning damages brains and worsens crime, but millions of Americans still drink contaminated water every day. Here’s how we can fix that.

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Politics
Tal Alster

Tal Alster is an urban planner and postdoc fellow at The Hebrew University’s Geography Department. He works as a housing and urbanism policy consultant for cities and governments.

Tamara Winter
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Tamara Winter is the commissioning editor of Stripe Press.

Tom Chivers
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Tom Chivers is the science editor for Unherd.

Asteroid spotting

Words by Tom Chivers

Could an asteroid wipe out human civilisation like it may have eliminated the dinosaurs? Big asteroids come along extremely rarely and our monitoring systems are effective and well funded.

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Science
Tom Ough
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Tom Ough writes for newspapers and magazines, generally concerned with either the enhancement of humanity’s future or the aversion of its sticky end. He is also a consultant for ARIA, Effective Giving, Longview, and the Swift Center. 

Watt lies beneath

Words by Tom Ough

The earth’s core is hot. So hot, that if we drilled deep enough, we could power the world millions of times over with cheap, clean energy, supporting renewables when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. But getting there is tough.

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Holes
Ulkar Aghayeva
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Ulkar Aghayeva is a research associate at Dartmouth University working on the economics of science and innovation. She won an Emergent Ventures grant in 2022, and composes music for piano.

Virginia Postrel
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Virginia Postrel is the author of The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World and a visiting fellow at the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy at Chapman University in California. 

William Buckner
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William Buckner is a student at UC Davis studying evolutionary anthropology. He blogs at Traditions of Conflict and on his newsletter.

Why we duel

Words by William Buckner

Duels can be brutal and even lethal. But duels emerged in societies around the world for an important reason: to control and manage violence, not just to celebrate it.

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Culture
Zach Caceres
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Zach Caceres writes at Startup Cities.