The Atlantic

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

A story about political polarisation in Poland and the warning signs for liberal democracy everywhere. The author of the piece, Ann Applebaum, is in a unique position to write the story, with Polish and American nationality, a celebrated career writing about the former Soviet Union, and a husband who was formerly Poland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Welcome to Pleistocene Park

An extraordinary piece profiling the scientists in Siberia that are seeking to restore the Ice Age by bioengineering woolly mammoths and other creatures. Their ambition is on an epic scale – to reforge a lost world in order to preserve our present one.

What Happens If China Makes First Contact?

Just as the US seems to be turning away from trying to make contact with extra-terrestrial life, China has built a huge custom radio dish for the very purpose. The author visits the dish, examines China’s long history of astronomy and reviews its current attempts to drive scientific innovation.

The Eternal Return of Buzzfeed

This piece looks at what a highly successful, disruptive organisation like Buzzfeed can learn from its antecedents as disruptors, who are now part of the establishment it is taking on.

The Refugee Detectives

A look at the work of Germany’s Bamf, the agency with the thorny task of deciding which refugees receive permission to remain in their country. They have many techniques at their disposal, some that can establish identity with little doubt, many more that can only offer “Hinweis” – a clue as to the truth of the story they’re being told.

The Nastiest Feud in Science

A piece looking at a bitter fight amongst geologists, stemming from the assertion made by a Princeton academic that the so-called fifth extinction (the one that got the dinosaurs) “was caused not by an asteroid but by a series of colossal volcanic eruptions.” The debate is still relevant today, as scientists try to predict future extinction events that risk wiping us out.