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Anil Seth Finds Consciousness in Life’s Push Against Entropy
How does consciousness arise in mere flesh and blood? To the neuroscientist Anil Seth, our organic bodies are the key to the experience.
Karen Miga Fills In the Missing Pieces of Our Genome
Driven by her fascination with highly repetitive, hard-to-read parts of our DNA, Karen Miga led a coalition of researchers to finish sequencing the human genome after almost two decades.
This Physicist Discovered an Escape From Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox
The five-decade-old paradox — long thought key to linking quantum theory with Einstein’s theory of gravity — is falling to a new generation of thinkers. Netta Engelhardt is leading the way.
The Computer Scientist Training AI to Think With Analogies
Melanie Mitchell has worked on digital minds for decades. She says they’ll never truly be like ours until they can make analogies.
Nathan Seiberg on How Math Might Complete the Ultimate Physics Theory
Even in an incomplete state, quantum field theory is the most successful physical theory ever discovered. Nathan Seiberg, one of its leading architects, talks about the gaps in QFT and how mathematicians could fill them.
The Materials Scientist Who Studies the Innards of Exoplanets
Federica Coppari uses the world’s most powerful laser to recreate the cores of distant worlds.
A Number Theorist Who Connects Math to Other Creative Pursuits
Jordan Ellenberg enjoys studying — and writing about — the mathematics underlying everyday phenomena.
How to Rewrite the Laws of Physics in the Language of Impossibility
Chiara Marletto is trying to build a master theory — a set of ideas so fundamental that all other theories would spring from it. Her first step: Invoke the impossible.
The New Historian of the Smash That Made the Himalayas
About 60 million years ago, India plowed into Eurasia and pushed up the Himalayas. But when Lucía Pérez-Díaz reconstructed the event in detail, she found that its central mystery depended on a broken geological clock.