Most of us were brought up being told to “use a bit of good old common sense”, generally in situations where we may have done something that had involved making a stupid choice. And very often this was good advice – but not always. For example, your common sense might be my stupid idea and vice versa.

The picture has become even more muddled as politicians have appropriated the term to differentiate their ideas from those they dismiss as coming from “experts” or “elites”. But what is common sense really, and why is it now used so often to shut down debate? A psychologist explains.

The stresses of modern life and the seeming constant presence of mobile phones, smartwatches and other digital technology in our lives is severely affecting many people’s sleep patterns. So much so that the development of “sleep technology” and new drugs to regulate our slumber have become a major growth area. Here’s how technology is permeating our sleep, and what the future may hold.

According to the latest opinion polls, if an election were to be held tomorrow, Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives would be in for a serious trouncing. So what will the Tory party look like in the event of a serious defeat in 2024? Our political analysts examines three possible scenarios.

Miriam Frankel

Science Editor

Common sense is broadly defined as a shared set of beliefs and approaches to thinking about the world. elenabsl/Shutterstock

Politicians love to appeal to common sense – but does it trump expertise?

Magda Osman, Cambridge Judge Business School

We often view common sense as an authority of collective knowledge that is universal and constant.


Technology is radically changing sleep as we know it

Catherine Coveney, Loughborough University; Eric L Hsu, University of South Australia

Wakefulness drugs like Modafinil point to a new frontier of technosleep driven by personal goals rather than medical need.

PA/Alamy/Phil Noble

Annihilation in the red wall, an exit for a top leadership contender and a parliamentary party stuffed with southerners and Oxbridgers – how losing the next election could shape the Conservatives

Tim Bale, Queen Mary University of London; David Jeffery, University of Liverpool

Penny Mordaunt’s seat is at risk while leadership hopeful Kemi Badenoch would be sitting pretty.

Politics + Society

Arts + Culture

Business + Economy


Science + Technology

More newsletters from The Conversation for you:

Ukraine Recap • Imagine climate action • Global Economy & Business • Europe newsletter

About The Conversation

We're a nonprofit news organisation dedicated to helping academic experts share ideas with the public. We can give away our articles thanks to the help of universities and readers like you.

Donate now to support research-based journalism


Featured events

View all
Promote your event

Contact us here to have your event listed.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here