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Editor's choice

Jan 19, 2014

A special free-to-read digital edition containing 10 of our very best feature articles on the science and applications of light

In depth: Culture, history & society

The Soviet side of space

A major exhibition at the Science Museum in London brings together an impressive collection of Soviet technologies from the birth of the space age

Throwing the book at bad ideas

Several eminent popular-science authors have claimed that bad scientific ideas “held back” good ones. In Philip Ball’s view, such arguments deny the reality of how science is done

Nature’s ups and downs

A history of one of the world’s most influential scientific journals is sound in the early years but leaves out some crucial modern developments, Peter Rodgers finds

Physics in the family

Autobiographies of the Nobel-prize-winning crystallographer William Lawrence Bragg, his wife and daughter reveal a family life full of science and love, writes Mark Spackman

The great high-energy write-off

A forensically detailed analysis of what went wrong with the Superconducting Super Collider impresses reviewer Andrew Robinson

Between the lines

A smorgasbord of popular-science books for your end-of-year delectation, reviewed by Margaret Harris, Hamish Johnston and Tushna Commissariat

Web life: DSFP’s Spaceflight History

A look at spaceflight's lesser-known stories with science writer David S F Portree

Between the lines

Theorist Mary Gaillard’s memoir of life at CERN in the 1960s sparkles with insights, while an overview of the hunt for the rarest metals on Earth fails to deliver the goods

Cooking Bacon

Has Francis Bacon been unfairly vilified, asks Robert P Crease

The Master's route

A Master's degree in physics can open many doors, but is it the right step for your career? Alaina G Levine explores the options

Between the lines

Insights on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, sci-fi from Indian astrophysicist Jayant V Narlikar and an overview of the cosmic microwave background

A physicist's sense of beauty

Frank Wilzcek's ability to see things differently is a "true and compelling reason" to read his latest book, according to Philip Ball

Individual recognition

Sahal Yacoob describes how a "target culture" can cause problems when applied to academia

The wealth of nations

Physicist César Hidalgo's argument for an information-centric view of economic growth is "wildly fresh and creative", says reviewer Mark Buchanan

Between the lines

Books about the science of keeping things cool and a security breach at one of America's premier nuclear-weapons facilities, plus a DVD featuring some very nerdy science comedy