Are you having less sex? Chances are you might be. Research shows we’re having much less now than in recent years. But at the same time, porn websites are reporting record viewing figures and many TV series and films seem to be steamier than ever. So what’s going on?

Mary Harrod believes that we’ve reached a point where meaningful intimacy is at once an object of scepticism and a cultural obsession – and that the more dubious we seemingly are about the possibility of transcendent romance, the more we want to dream of its existence. And that’s leading to more raunchy scenes on our screens and more sexual exploration in the books we read. After all, if we aren’t getting our rocks off in real life, we need to get our thrills somewhere, right?

With the UN climate summit in Glasgow only weeks away, we bring you the second episode of our new podcast, Climate Fight: the world’s biggest negotiation. In this instalment, experts explain the goal of net zero by 2050 – and compare the carbon-sucking innovations needed to get us there. You can get academic analysis of potential climate solutions direct to your inbox each Wednesday by subscribing to our Imagine newsletter.

Of course, even if we survive the climate crisis, our planet will face an eventual end. Dimitri Veras explains why his new research could hold some clues about how the Solar System will die.

Holly Squire

Special Projects Editor

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Has less sex in real life led to more raunch on our screens?

Mary Harrod, University of Warwick

Is sex the meaning of life? Books, TV and films certainly make it seem that way.

Boundary Dam coal-fired power station, Saskatchewan, Canada. Dave Reede/All Canada Photos/Alamy Stock Photo

How world leaders hope to reach net zero emissions by 2050 – and why some experts are worried. Climate Fight podcast part 2

Jack Marley, The Conversation

Listen to the second episode of a new series from The Anthill Podcast ahead of the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

Scientists have spotted a Jupiter-like planet surviving the death of its star. Credit: W. M. Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko

We’ve spotted a planet surviving its dying star – here’s what it tells us about end of our Solar System

Dimitri Veras, University of Warwick

For the first time ever, astronomers have astrophysical evidence that Jupiter and many other planets will survive the death of the Sun.

Politics + Society

Environment + Energy

Health + Medicine

Business + Economy

Arts + Culture

  • What Grimes can learn from The Communist Manifesto

    Terrell Carver, University of Bristol

    Grimes finds solace in The Communist Manifesto after her split from Elon Musk, but what can she learn from reading Marx and Engels? A political theorist explains.

Science + Technology


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