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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Sir John Gurdon will use his prize money to fund PhD students

Steve Connor: Gurdon deserves his prize but UK can hope for more

There can be no doubt that Sir John Gurdon deserves the greatest accolade in science. As a graduate student in Oxford in the late 1950s he showed that every cell of the body carries all the necessary genes for making an entire individual.

Television Choices: Using music to help foster harmonious relations

Barenboim on Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed the World

Ewan Irvine, Isle of Mull

Portfolio: Felix Davey

Water is not mere embellishment; it is the essence of my reverie." So says Felix Davey, a Belfast-born photographer so inspired by the sense of freedom he finds in all things aquatic that last year he was drawn to Scotland's west coast to seek out those he dubs the "Water Folk" – people for whom water is enmeshed in their lives. "These individuals' solitude and fortitude," he says, "speak of wild, beautiful places, and our place within them."

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Brian Cox

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Professor Richard Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams outside Clarendon House before the televised debate

Two existential heavyweights in a gentle contest for your very soul

Oxford University held its first debate on the subject of evolution in 1860, just months after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Then, the Bishop of Winchester, Samuel Wilberforce, famously enquired of the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley whether it was through his grandmother or his grandfather that he traced his descent from a monkey.

Bottlenose dolphins off Brazil drive fish towards fishermen and then swim away, nabbing lunch as they go

Nature: All things bright and beautiful

Scientists are arguing that dolphins are so clever they should be treated like humans. But why stop there? Simon Usborne salutes the smartest species

Ken Loach: The film director is one of 21 signatories to a letter attacking the museum over links to Ahava DSL

Natural History Museum attacked over links to 'illegal' Israeli company

The Natural History Museum is today accused by a coalition of prominent academics and cultural figures of helping to break international law by leading a research project which involves an Israeli cosmetics company based in an “illegal” settlement in the occupied West Bank.

The‘hybrid’ giant tortoise is linked to a species thought to have died out 150 years ago

'Extinct' tortoise found living in the Galapagos

A species of giant tortoise that disappeared after being heavily hunted in the Galapagos more than a century ago may still be living on an island 200 miles away, a study has found.

Guy Adams: Charles Darwin - controversial in Oklahoma

Here, in the year 2011, Darwin and his new-fangled ideas about natural selection are still considered highly taboo.

Where do polar bears come from? Ireland

The mother of all polar bears lived in the British Isles about 100,000 years ago and she was not white but brown, according to a genetic study of the Arctic's biggest land predator.

Adrian Hamilton: Emperor's stunning intervention with only one precedent: the 1945 surrender

For the Japanese to wheel out their Emperor to make a televised address yesterday on the nuclear crisis is virtually unprecedented. To produce the country's most sacred figurehead in this way and to risk involving him in a situation which could become deeply political shows just how concerned the government and establishment has become not just over the dangers of a nuclear meltdown but also of public reaction to it.

When the Killing's Done, By T C Boyle

Rats, a sinking ship, and an eco puzzler

Delusions of Gender, By Cordelia Fine

This book rubbishes the view of one psychologist that "the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding."

Last Night's TV: The Elephant: Life after Death/Channel 4<br />Romancing the Stone: the Golden Age of British Sculpture/BBC4

They're not exactly picky eaters, hyenas. If you want proof try to catch up with The Elephant: Life after Death, a novel kind of natural-history programme in which a group of biologists and film-makers laid on a free buffet for the scavengers and detritivores of Tsavo West National Park in Kenya. Staked out in a clearing, surrounded by more remote-control cameras than a sink-estate crime spot, was the corpse of a male elephant – six million calories of fat, meat and guts just waiting for anything bold enough to come and claim a chunk. The hyena was the first guest to show up, looming unnervingly out of the blackness with its headlamp eyes. Half-a-mile away, in a tented control room, the scientists sat in front of a bank of monitors giving a running commentary. Very tough, the skin of an elephant, they reminded us, as the hyena circled warily. Even a hyena's immensely powerful jaws will struggle. He's most likely to go for the softer parts. At which point – after one last quick check around for lions – the hyena took a little run-up and jammed his head up to the shoulder blades in the elephant's rectum. I'm glad to say that even the biologists momentarily lost their scientific detachment at this point. "Urggh!" they said as one, and they all said it again a little later when the hyena's enthusiastic tugging triggered a sudden explosion of intestinal gas.

Storms of my Grandchildren, By James Hansen

The science behind our catastrophic weather to come
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project