Making sense of science
She’s the boss—but why? A large-scale study of one-on-one conflicts between members of Tanzanian spotted-hyena communities, commonly dominated by female individuals, now presents empirical evidence that she-hyena authority comes down to family and social ties.
Article
11.19.2018
Contrary to belief, it only takes a few seconds for a memory to form. Once recorded, it can be modified or made inaccessible, but it does not vanish. Pascale Gisquet-Verrier and David Riccio talk about their recent work, which revisits the dogma of memory...
Opinion
11.20.2018
Ever since the concept of prehistory was invented, scientists have made a clear distinction between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, between modern and non-modern humans. Yet according to the prehistoric archaeologist Nicolas Teyssandier, it is this notion of “...
Opinion
11.15.2018
Article
10.25.2018
After two and a half years sailing across the Pacific to draw up the first-ever global inventory of coral reefs, the schooner Tara has now returned to Lorient (Brittany), her home port in...
Article
10.08.2018
Upon the publication of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Impact of Global Warming of 1.5 °C, three experts who contributed to its drafting—the ecologist Wolgang Cramer, the paleoclimatologist Joël...
Article
10.02.2018
With its sizeable capacity to absorb atmospheric CO​2 from greenhouse emissions, the ocean is a key weapon in our fight against global warming, employed in a growing number of climate-regulation and...
Slideshow
08.31.2018
In Greenland, French and Quebec-based researchers are monitoring the impact of climate change. Their clues consist of various marine creatures such as bivalves and shell-based mollusks, whose growth...
Article
05.23.2018
Computers, data centers, networks and the like now gobble up nearly 10% of the world’s electrical consumption—and the figure continues to rise. While there is no question of giving up the progress...
Article
04.10.2018
The IPBES, which is to biodiversity what the IPCC is to climate change, recently published five reports at its sixth plenary session held in March in Medellín, Colombia. In this synthesis of current...
Article
03.21.2018
The song of skylarks, linnets and meadow pipits traditionally resonate across French farmlands. But for how much longer? Studies from long-term observatories paint an alarming picture: the...
02.07.2018

All life on Earth exists on a thin layer that surrounds the planet. To better understand this so-called "critical zone," researchers are setting up state-of-the-art instruments and creating open-...

Article
01.22.2018
The Earth hasn't always been the blue, hospitable planet it is today. On at least three occasions our planet was completely covered with ice. How did the Earth get into this state and, above all...
Opinion
01.05.2018
Common ownership of a resource causes its demise. This was what a biologist had concluded in a 1968 paper published in Science. His article, "The Tragedy of the Commons" has shaped the...
Article
12.04.2017
Each year, the Stars of Europe competition rewards twelve French teams involved in European scientific collaborations. Among the 2017 laureates are three projects coordinated by CNRS researchers on...
Article
11.26.2017
The origin of a volcanic eruption in the Middle Ages, one of the biggest in the last ten thousand years, had long remained a mystery. It was only in 2013 that a group of scientists would solve the...