In a 2003 experiment, ‘short-changed’ monkeys became upset. Above, a capuchin monkey. Photograph: Thinkstock

Humans and other primates have evolved a moral sense of right and wrong, of fairness and unfairness, and are prepared to endure personal sacrifice (...)

Does music help us to deal with cognitive dissonance? Photograph: Thinkstock

The human ability to create and enjoy music has puzzled the finest minds since Aristotle. Even Charles Darwin was unable to explain how music evolved (...)

Research shows that feelings of loneliness increase risk of death by 26 per cent, lack of social connections increases risk of death by 29 per cent and living alone increases risk of death by 32 per cent. Photograph: Thinkstock

Take the case of a young man or woman who is a modest smoker, obese, takes no exercise and has no friends. What is the single most effective step that(...)

Physicist Lee Smolin contends that cosmologists should test hypotheses against the properties and history of our universe

A common scientific interpretation proposes that our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, the “multiverse”, with each universe end(...)

 The World Health Organisation says that, when it comes to cancer, no amount of alcohol is safe

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, to be enacted by the end of 2015, will include many measures aimed at tackling overconsumption of alcohol in Ireland(...)

In the whole-class teaching method, the teacher stands at the blackboard, teaches the whole class the established body of knowledge, tests the children with questions and ensures a disciplined class environment. This type of teaching was the norm in Ireland until the 1960s. Above, schoolchildren in the west of Ireland in 1955. Photograph: Three Lions/Getty Images

Substantial reports warn us that educational attainment at all levels is declining in English-speaking countries (; OECD Reports (...)

Bad news for those who regularly run marathons or ultra-marathons: such running can damage your health. Photograph: Thinkstock

There is much evidence that regular aerobic exercise will significantly reduce your chances of contracting a variety of serious health problems, in(...)

‘In December a well-argued letter to The Irish Times by David Walsh took the field of women’s studies to task for promoting the ideological notion that gender is a social construct in the face of scientific evidence that biology plays a prominent role’

Every social scientist I ever met was liberal-left. This uniformity always struck me as very odd. I accidentally came across a new, rigorous academ(...)

The former home of George Boole in Cork. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The famous mathematician George Boole (1815-1864) has been variously called “the father of pure mathematics” and “the father of the computer age”. (...)

Our capacity for co-operation has deep evolutionary roots and scientists have been studying this in chimpanzees and bonobos (above), our closest living relatives. Photograph: Thinkstock

There are many reasons why humans became the dominant form of life on Earth, not the least of which is our ability to co-operate with each other. C(...)