Word Games: Happy
By Sophie Elmhirst - 24 March 13:32

A recent Gallup poll asked people in different countries how happy they were. Denmark won the race, with 82 per cent of respondents saying they were happy. In China, only 6 per cent ticked the happy box.

Do we need a census when we have Facebook?
By James Harkin - 24 March 13:30

This month, we are being ordered to fill in our census forms. But why should we help the state force

Choose Darwin over Dickens
By Robin Ince - 27 February 12:31

Why are arts graduates so proud to be ignorant of science?

Sound clash of the thinkers! It’s de Botton v Skidelsky
By Jonathan Derbyshire - 24 February 15:04

For decades, philosophers spoke only to each other. But that is changing as they once more reconnect

Learn from the mob professor
By Will Self - 24 February 14:58

It's been a fantastic three months for those of us gripped by the dynamics of crowds.

The Books Interview: Nicholas Humphrey
By Jonathan Derbyshire - 17 February 11:46

Solving the problem of consciousness.

Where are today’s political intellectuals?
By Jason Cowley - 10 February 9:49

Once, we had Gladstone and Disraeli. Now, we have Clegg and Cameron.

Word Games: Resign
By Sophie Elmhirst - 03 February 11:02

They dropped like proverbial flies.

Michael Chanan's video blog: On Campus
By Staff blogger - 02 February 16:44

FILM: Terry Eagleton and others on the anti-cuts movement.

Back to the futurism
By Alex Danchev - 27 January 14:04

A performance, a provocation, self-promotion — beginning with Marinetti’s mission statement in 1909,

Word Games: Telegentsia
By Sophie Elmhirst - 27 January 13:06

Sometimes a word comes along that makes you feel sick. It doesn't happen very often. But when it does, you sense it deep in the gut: word-nausea is visceral. Enter "telegentsia".

The Observer and US - based conference and events organisation TED to hold one day "festival of ideas"
By Dominic Ponsford - 24 January 11:18

The Observer and US-based conference and events organisation TED to hold one day "festival of ideas

What If . . . We'd spared the Volunteers
By Dominic Sandbrook - 20 January 15:29

Dublin, 1916. After seven days of savage fighting and at a cost of almost 200 lives, the Easter Rising is over.

The NS Interview: Antony Gormley, artist
By Samira Shackle - 20 January 10:59

“You should definitely cut defence before you cut art”

Word Games: Bonus
By Sophie Elmhirst - 20 January 10:56

Bonus, boni, bono, bonum, bono, bone. Not a chant for U2's Ray-Banned frontman, but the declension of bonus in Latin. We use the word all the time; it lives, even though the language died.

Word Games: Purple patch
By Sophie Elmhirst - 13 January 11:18

Thank God for cricket. Without it, the first days of the Year of the Cuts might have descended into deep gloom, but instead we were distracted by Down Under and its sunshine, success and sprinkler dance.

Diss capital
By Paul Mason - 06 January 13:00

Karl Marx, in London for a book signing, stumbles off the Eurostar and straight into an interview wi

Word Games: Chaos
By Sophie Elmhirst - 06 January 9:59

Weather, the lifeblood of a British newspaper in a snow-gripped winter. Vince was a brief distraction from weeks of ice analysis. Have there ever been so many disgruntled interviews conducted from Heathrow Airport?

Inside the mind of a man
By Simon Baron Cohen - 06 January 9:52

Science tells us that men’s brains are different from women’s – but that doesn’t mean we should not

Ricky Gervais: They call me the entertainer
By Sophie Elmhirst - 29 December 11:01

Ricky Gervais came late to showbiz via <em>The Office</em>. Now, at 49, he appreciates every moment

Our leaders are ham-fisted chumps
By Russell Brand - 22 December 14:30

“The spectacle of implicated governments trying to stifle WikiLeaks is futile and undignified,” writ

By Sophie Elmhirst - 15 December 9:55

(Warning: this column will bypass all hand-wringing discussion of the commercialisation of Christmas and its severance from religious meaning.

The NS Interview: Mary Warnock
By Jonathan Derbyshire - 15 December 9:43

“The ‘big society’ doesn’t speak to me. It doesn’t speak to anyone”

What If . . . Reagan had lost in 1980
By Dominic Sandbrook - 15 December 9:42

Amazingly, it is 30 years now since the constitutional crisis that briefly left the United States without a president.

A graffiti image of Jesus. Photo: Getty
Jesus was a lefty
By Mehdi Hasan - 15 December 9:19

Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But he was the unemployed son of two asylum-seekers with all the personal traits of a modern revolutionary. 

Let the American anti-Quran pastor visit Britain
By Sholto Byrnes - 12 December 10:55

Theresa May is being urged to ban him. Free speech demands she shouldn’t.

Does the BBC really have a left-wing bias?
By Daniel Trilling - 12 December 9:53

If most of the corporation’s staff don’t vote Tory, that’s only a reflection of the country at large

The contempt for democracy
By Steven Baxter - 10 December 11:50

Think about this while you read press coverage of the student protests.

Last of the Irish rovers?
By Maurice Walsh - 09 December 11:48

Roger Casement made waves with his exposés of imperial abuses on the rubber plantations of Belgian C