What makes maths beautiful?

For an experienced mathematician, the greatest equations are beautiful as well as useful, says Cal Flyn. Can the rest of us see what they see?

The myth of humanism's Christian roots

Andrew Copson warns that it’s a dangerous folly to believe that the values of tolerance and equality are exclusively Christian in origin.

The real consequences of misogyny on-screen

Sexual violence against women has become a staple of mainstream entertainment. Sally Feldman warns that it’s a worrying trend.

How we invented nature

Today we take it for granted that something called “nature” exists, says Jonathan Rée. But the concept owes much to a Prussian adventurer.

Does literature help or hinder the fight for equality?

Today, the concept of human rights is being dangerously undermined, says Lyndsey Stonebridge. Does literature offer us a way back from the brink?

Through the hard times and the good

We might not realise it, writes Owen Hatherley, but our image of modern Britain owes a debt to the propaganda arm of empire.

The art of the diary

People have kept diaries for centuries – and now they’re being reinvented for the era of social media. Caroline Crampton asks what purpose they serve.

Why country singers are the chroniclers of our age

A new generation of female singers are rejecting patriotic tub-thumping and documenting the dark heart of rural America, writes Alex Macpherson.

Searching for an English identity

In our uncertain times, there is a new demand for stories of England – but, writes Niki Seth-Smith this search is desperate and confused.

Better than all that conceptual bollocks

Grayson Perry uses craft forms to signify his authenticity. But is he really so different from the rest, asks Huw Lemmey?

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