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An independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public.

a multiple-exposure photo of insects flying around a light

The surprising reason why insects circle lights at night: They lose track of the sky

Science & Technology

It’s an observation as old as humans gathering around campfires: Light at night can draw an erratically circling crowd of insects. In art, music and literature, this spectacle is an enduring metaphor for dangerous but irresistible attractions. And watching their frenetic movements really gives the sense that something is wrong — that instead of finding food and evading predators, these nocturnal pilots are trapped by a light.

A woman in a black shirt holds up her arm on which there is a tattooed number.

Why some descendants of Holocaust survivors choose to replicate a loved one’s Auschwitz tattoo

Lifestyle & Belief
Photo showing tanks and jeeps rolling through a desert

How the Hamas assault echoes the 1973 Arab-Israeli war

Israel-Hamas war
Three people prostrating in prayer on a mat. In the backdrop are mountains and a damaged ancient brick structure.

Tinmel — Morocco’s medieval shrine and mosque — is one of the historic casualties of the earthquake

Natural disasters
A woman working at a carrel in library stacks

Nonnative-English-speaking scientists work much harder just to keep up, global research reveals

A woman poses for a photo in front of the Wagner Group military vehicle.

Wagner’s mutiny punctured Putin’s ‘strongman’ image and exposed cracks in his rule

Wagner Group

Signs of discontent among Russian nationalists and Wagner had been growing before a column of paramilitaries began an aborted march on Moscow.

man in front of banner

‘Courage is contagious’: The late Daniel Ellsberg’s decision to release the Pentagon Papers didn’t happen in a vacuum

Daniel Ellsberg died June 16, 2023, months after announcing that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. To millions of Americans who opposed the war, his whistleblowing was an act of patriotism — but millions of others regarded it as treason.

black and white image of four people

Historians are learning more about how the Nazis targeted trans people

This is an important case. It was the first time a court recognized the persecution of trans people in Nazi Germany. It was followed a few months later by the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, formally releasing a statement recognizing trans and cisgender queer people as victims of fascism.

A person standing on a pyramid of dried salt, while the rest of the salt flat looks like the surface of a lake

Raw materials, or sacred beings? Lithium extraction puts two worldviews into tension.


Lithium extraction in Bolivia poses more than environmental questions: It illustrates how notions about raw materials can be at odds with Indigenous relations with the land.

Sad looking children at a cafeteria table

Finding Ukraine’s stolen children and bringing perpetrators to justice: lessons from Argentina

Hundreds of children were stolen from their parents during the dictatorship in Argentina, but over the years, some have been reunited with their families.