April 2021 – Our efforts to harness the sun’s energy to power our future may require up to 5% of the territories of some countries, a new simulation finds. This could have significant direct and indirect environmental side effects, including habitat loss and deforestation. But there are ways to avoid this.
February 2021 – Donald Trump’s latest impeachment throws a spotlight on the politics of grievance, the role of social media and the dangers of hate speech spilling over into real life. Fortunately, the pushback has started.
November 2020 – Rather than humans becoming enslaved by robots, machines have become the new slave or serf class, with devastating consequences for society and the environment. We desperately need a more humane and sustainable approach to automation.
March 2020 – The advent of ‘living robots’, or biobots, not only poses grave risks for which we must be prepared but also raises profound questions about the future and what it means to be human.
November 2016 – Cloaking devices are the stuff of magic realms and deep-space exploration, not real life. Think again! Making photonic chips invisible to one another could pave the way to computing at the speed of light.
June 2016 – Investing in nuclear energy makes no economic, geostrategic or environmental sense in the Arab world. Renewables will provide the only sunny future.
December 2015 – A lad from the Australian bush ended up designing and building the slickest, quickest aircraft of the 1920/30s. How come nobody has heard of him?
August 2015 – Gaza’s devastated infrastructure and fuel shortages cause avoidable deaths. A crowd-funded initiative will save lives with solar power in hospitals.
March 2015 – The selfie fad has reached epidemic proportions, but we don’t live in more narcissistic times. Selfie-absorption is as old as civilisation itself.
March 2015 – Though they may go viral, like viruses (or even journalistic cancer), listicles are bound to kill off their host eventually.
September 2014 – Egypt would be much better off saving the sinking ship of the Nile Delta instead of building a white elephant Suez Canal II.
June 2014 – Google doodles must be the most fleeting yet most highly visited exhibition on the planet honouring both the famous and the quirky.
September 2012 – The spread of print media in the 19th century played a profound role in shaping modern Egyptian nationalism and its quest for full independence.
September 2012 – As we spent more of our lives online, what happens to our virtual selves when we die? Do they disappear too, or do we become ghosts in the machine?
August 2012 – Many Muslims believe that fasting is good for their health, but is science on their side?
June 2012 – As social media strip away the space and time separating like-minded people, is the notion of “nationalism” becoming too small for us?
June 2012 – Like an ocean predator, if Facebook is not moving forward, it is dying. So is this big fish drowning or can it continue to swim with the tide?
February 2012 – For the perplexed this Valentine’s, The Chronikler offers this “scientific” guide to winning hearts and getting high on the “drug” of love.
February 2012 – Information technology is being hailed as the new face of socially responsible business.
February 2011 – Which is more empowering or threatening for the gay community: the idea that sexuality is a lifestyle choice (unnatural) or an innate trait (natural)?
January 2012 – Outsiders are more likely to associate Palestine with statehood-pending than patent-pending, but innovation is crucial to building a better future.
September 2011 – All is not well in the old world of organisational paternity, job security and economic rationality. But the silver lining is that we have millions of virtual ‘friends’ to feel our pain.
March 2011 – “You won’t fool the children of the revolution.” Especially not if they’re Twittering away on their mobile phones.
March 2011 – No this isn’t a perverse way of describing French kissing, but a new theory of how two languages can peacefully co-exist in one country.
February 2011 – We’re entering a world of augmented reality (AR) which might sound scary to rational-thinking grown-ups but perfectly natural to iPhone-savvy toddlers.
November 2010 – Talk of banning Facebook is only the surface of a greater crackdown on independent media by an insecure government.
September 2010 – The Scientists shouted they would get “smashed in a different world”. But do the words of this punk band reveal something profound about human nature?
August 2010 – Most journalists dread crunching data. But finding narratives among the numbers is part of journalism’s mandate. Luckily, there are tools to help.
July 2010 – Constant popup reminders telling you to update software,or even to scrub your fingernails… Why have computers become such smart-arses?
May 2010 – Jerry Michalski, the founder of the ‘Relationship economy expedition’ (REX), shares his insights on the future of the internet.
April 2010 – In philosophy and religion, the body is merely a hollow shell for our mind and soul. But what if our bodies not only confine but also define us?
April 2010 – I spend so much time sorting my rubbish that I’m thinking of putting it on my CV as a skill or taking it up as a profession.
March 2010 – In Egypt, political advocacy is being sparked online, on sites like Facebook, but there is significantly less room for movement in Egypt’s real world than in its virtual world.
March 2010 – In South Dakota, everyone knows that the climate is just right – and that global warming is just the hot air of science.
February 2010 – Airport body scanners are being touted as the latest anti-terroism wizadry. But do they actually work and are they worth the invasion in privacy?
January 2010 – Lean, green commuting machines will be the new black for Belgian fleet car managers this year.
January 2010 – Natural wealth is so undervalued that countries believe they are getting richer when they are poorer. Can economists see green beyond the greenback?
December 2009 – Facebook, Sellaband, Twitter… social networking is like the classics with the clap. And a bloody waste of time to boot.
December 2009 – Barring men from the delivery room will not make giving birth any easier. In fact, it is a case of throwing out the father with the bathwater.
November 2009 – There is something of an inner circle to mourning whose circumference varies from culture to culture. Knowing where you fit in takes some research.
October 2009 – The Arab world no longer dismisses environmentalism as a western luxury and is gradually awakening to the massive environmental challenges.
October 2009 – Is technology designed to monitor and report on our every move a sign of ambient intelligence or stupidity?
August 2009 – What passes as a good joke in the office or at a party nowadays? Not much, it seems.
August 2009 – Could pregnancy outside the womb save women the pain of labour and herald in a new level of gender equality?
July 2009 – Deciphering hieroglyphs is much more fun than decoding the ‘thumbspeak’ of SMS texting.
July 2009 – Can we look forward to a boom in Arab science or will poverty, bureaucracy and religion be insurmountable obstacles?
July 2009 – Being called a miserable sod might not be everyone’s moniker of choice, but Shakespeare was on to something with his comment “The miserable hath no other medicine but only hope”.
July 2009 – Christian Nielsen’s long-dead Psion Organiser is a constant reminder never to buy any technology that promises to help him remember things.
July 2009 – Religion has been promising us eternal life after death for millennia, can science deliver us immortality right here on earth – and do we want it to?
April 2009 – Segregating school students by gender, or grouping them according to age simply doesn’t make sense.
March 2009 – The emerging notion that genes can be ‘selfless’ as well as ‘selfish’ suggests that working for the greater good is natural.
February 2009 – Where does Gail Trimble fit in the brainy women’s hall of fame?
December 2008 – Can science make us more attractive and appealing? Let’s put it to the test.
November 2008 – Does scientific evidence that war is hardwired into human society mean that we are doomed to live in perpetual conflict?
September 2008 – There’s more than enough fresh water in the world to sate our thirst. The problem is getting it to where it is desperately needed.