Settling down in front of the TV with a hungry curiosity and a brand new docuseries to feed it is one of my favourite ways to spend an evening. So the new Netflix show, Ancient Apocalypse – which promises to hunt for evidence of mysterious, lost civilisations dating back to the last ice age – should have been a treat.

But beyond the flashy visuals and dramatic claims is a dangerous disregard for expert research. In fact, for presenter Graham Hancock, the kinds of expert archaeologists I’d usually look forward to learning from – the kind he considers “extremely defensive, arrogant, and patronising” – are actually the enemy. In a full-throated defence, archaeologist Flint Dibble explains what’s at stake when a cultural force as influential as Netflix gives platform to anti-expert thinkers like Hancock.

We learned last week that benefits in the UK are to rise in line with inflation. Here’s why our experts in inequality and austerity say it’s too late. Plus every year, 26,000 children are admitted to hospital with respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. Two experts in paediatric diseases explain why rates of the infection are rapidly on the rise this year, and what is being done globally to combat its spread.

Unlike Graham Hancock, we at The Conversation think experts have a huge contribution to make to public life. If you do too, please consider making a donation of whatever you can to our non-profit operation and help us continue amplifying expert voices.

Anna Walker

Senior Arts + Culture Editor

Wall-painting depicting a procession of ships from the Bronze Age site of Akrotiri, Thera in Greece. Yann Forget

With Netflix’s Ancient Apocalypse, Graham Hancock has declared war on archaeologists

Flint Dibble, Cardiff University

The new ‘docuseries’ makes grand claims about our ice age ancestors. Here’s why you should proceed with caution.

Rising levels of homelessness and rent arrears in council housing show how deeply austerity measures have harmed society. Devis M | Shutterstock

Austerity gutted the welfare state – preserving benefits now can’t make up for that

Anna Barford, University of Cambridge; Mia Gray, University of Cambridge

Cuts to public spending do not actually result in efficiency savings because they cause more problems for people than they solve.

RSV is most common in children under two. Aleksandra Suzi/ Shutterstock

RSV: experts explain why rates of this virus are surging this year

Chrissie Jones, University of Southampton; Saul Faust, University of Southampton

Respiratory syncytial virus may be common, but it can lead to severe infection in some children.

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