WIRED UK November / December 2021

WIRED is the Magazine for smart, intellectually curious people who need and want to know what’s next. WIRED will always deliver stimulating and compelling content and stunning design and photography. If you want an inside track to the future, then WIRED is your magazine.

United Kingdom
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
6 期号


creating wired

INSPIRED AND INFORMED Katie Burdon photographs the founders (including CTO Marija Ziterbart, above) of The Lowdown, a contraception platform for women: “I remember as a scared 16-year-old, just being handed the pill in a GP’s office, with no real information on the side effects,” says Burdon. “When WIRED briefed me on The Lowdown and all they do for women’s health, it resonated with my younger self so much.” CORNWALL’S ROCK SCENE Dave Imms travels to Cornwall – not for a staycation, but to photograph the scientists and geologists who think there’s enough lithium in the local rocks and water to keep the UK in batteries for years. “It was steep learning curve,” he says. “I actually mistook the remains of a broken ceramic lab dish for some lithium, and took pictures of it.…

editor’s essay

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report published in August made for grim reading. “Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some changes already set in motion – such as continued sea level rise – are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years,” it read. Sadly, it seems the majority of global politicians, corporate leaders and institutional investors have long found such facts about human activity’s impact on the planet unpalatable. Tough decisions need to be made that will fundamentally realign the global economy – and these need to be framed as an opportunity. In the UK, there are still MPs attempting to position a transition to sustainable energy as an elitist project, when the evidence makes it…

seek out the dark

When Michelle Galloway drives to work, she takes a tunnel into a mountain. Deep inside, at the entrance to the facility, guards ask her for a secret password. “Then, this James Bond-type door opens in the rock,” explains Galloway, a senior researcher at the University of Zurich. “It’s super cool.” Behind the door lies the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. Sitting 1,400 metres below the surface, it’s the largest underground lab of its kind in the world. And in one of the cavernous halls carved into the rock of the Apennine Mountains lies a machine that could change our understanding of the entire universe. Galloway and her colleagues on the XENONnT experiment have one goal in mind: find out what dark matter is made of. Dark matter, whatever it is, accounts…

the meteorite detectives

ON Sunday, February 28, 2021, the market town of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire was still best known for things that happened a long time ago: its timber-framed buildings, the heritage steam railway, the nearby tomb of Catherine Parr. Then, at 9.45pm, a fireball tore across the sky with a sonic boom. The next day, the Wilcock family found something strange dashed across their driveway. It looked like charcoal, but it was a meteorite – a carbonaceous chondrite from near Jupiter. Mary McIntyre burst into tears when she heard. “I know how amazing that is,” she says. “I know how rare that is.” McIntyre, who lives in north Oxfordshire, is one of around 100 people scattered across the country who are part of the UK Meteor Network (UKMON), a citizen science project dedicated to…

investing under the influence

Finance is getting weird these days. R/wallstreetbets, a no-holds-barred subreddit populated by retail investors and amateur stock-flippers fond of the Robinhood trading app, was ground zero for the orchestration of January 2021’s GameStop short squeeze – during which the stock price of the ailing video game retailer was sent skyrocketing, mostly for lolz and to give established institutions a bloody nose. On Twitter, SpaceX CEO and Tesla Technoking Elon Musk – follower count: 59.3 million – tweets about cryptocurrencies big and small. His posts about Dogecoin, a crypto-token intended as an in-joke and represented by a quizzical shiba inu, are especially notorious – and appear to have influenced the coin’s value. The internet, cryptocurrencies, trading apps and a pandemic-induced glut of spare time have redesigned trading as something more like a…

the buzzkill: how to turn cbd products totally legit

Cannabidiol, or CBD, as it’s more popularly known, was once only a concern of the most tiresome of stoners. But it’s undergone an image change. Now you can find it in tampons, face creams, ice creams, hummus, water – and at Tesco. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry: the UK’s CBD market alone has been forecast to reach $1.2 billion by 2025. This explosion in use-cases can be traced back, in the UK at least, to 2016, when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) ruled that products containing cannabidiol used for medical purposes had to be classified as a medicine. This focus from the government kick-started a UK interest in the product, says Harry Sumnall, a professor in substance use at the Public Health Institute. “All of a sudden, there’s a…