Magnificent Man’s Flying Machines

Leonardo da Vinci is justly celebrated as an artist, but his scientific inventions did not work

Hullabaloo in the Great Karoo

South Africa’s desert is a battleground between astronomers and gas companies

What Is It Like To Be Conscious?

Our minds evolved to make life worth living, a new theory claims

From Big Bang to Eternal Inflation

Recent research into cosmic expansion is finally enabling scientists to grasp the infinite

Topping and Tailing

Embryonic stem cells and assisted dying terminate opposite ends of life, but have common themes

Sex in the Flower Beds

We over-humanise animals while underestimating plants. But it’s the latter that do all the work for us

Busy Old Foolery

With advances in technology, we are learning more and more about the way the Sun is developing

Did the Earth Move for Galileo?

New books on the great Italian reveal him to have been wiser than many modern scientists

Do the Times Require a Conyers Middleton?

He is an 18th-century deist with a message for today's aggressive atheists: religion has a social value, and saves us from the return to a Hobbesian state of nature

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Bletchley Park cryptographers were a rum bunch. Their successors are keeping up the good work

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"