The Independent | Battle of Ideas

The Law’s cyber drug war. Is it time to hold peace talks with internet suppliers of ‘legal highs’?

Like alcohol, can these chemicals not be taken in the right way, at the right dose?

What happened to the caring professions?

The Tory drive to make teachers and carers chase after statistics has hindered rather than helped

Mozart or Skrillex? There shouldn't be any competition

Arguments about what kind of music is best, what will survive the test of time, miss the point

Should the law try and correct society's prejudices?

While the 2010 Equality Act seems to be discouraging prejudice, it has also come under attack for limiting freedom

The ‘Dark Ages’ were a lot brighter than we give them credit for

We still view European history as taking off with the Renaissance and Enlightenment, but this position gets more out-of-date the more we learn

Forget the Booker, the prize every author really wants is academic validation

There's so many prizes today's writers aren't bothered about who wins. The purpose awards serve now is to tell readers what to read.

There's a new species of prohibitionism on the rise

Instead of an outright ban on activities deemed "undesirable" - like getting off your head on booze - the state is trying to render them socially inacceptable

The EU’s Nobel has come at the price of democracy

Now be against the political institution in its current form is apparently to be anti-peace as well as anti-European

Can you be spiritual and not religious?

As religious observance is on the wane, people's desire to connect at some higher level faces a quest for new forms

Am I the only fan of modern classical music?

People expect melody and emotion from their music; but just because modern classical doesn't conform to this doesn't make it worthless

New students should seek education, not satisfaction

A fresher on the joys of exchanging a rigid and prescriptive curriculum for learning through free-form debate.

Choirs are magical - but should they be a social tool, too?

There's a risk that in using choirs for everything from helping fragmented communities to stress relief, we drag them down to the level of the mundane

Engineers, be bold - Britain needs grander designs

A dearth of real engineering ambition is holding back the sector. Big, ambitious projects are needed to put us back on track.

Education is not ‘for’ anything - it is an end in itself

The knowledge and understanding of subjects has no moral purpose. It may lead to discontent.

What happens when you take the politics out of protest?

Unlike past protest movements where ideologies came into conflict, today's uprisings are raw and reject traditional political structures

Will this year's Turner Prize winner stand among the all-time greats?

Whichever the year, whoever the artists, the Turner Prize always brings us back to the same old, endlessly fascinating question: what makes great art?

Riot-hit communities need more than this lazy policy

Too often government tries to "fix" communities whose problems can only truly be solved from within

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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

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Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

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From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

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Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape