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The Weekend Conversation

If you’ve ever watched a hypnotist on television or on stage then you’ll be familiar with the funny things participants can be made to do. But some people swear by it and many hypnotherapists make their living from people who want to quit addictions like smoking, tackle anxiety, or more controversially, recover memories. But is there any evidence whatsoever that it works and if so, how? Two scientists who recently reviewed research on the topic suggest that it may actually be a completely normal part of human behaviour.
But if you’re not interested in sinking into a relaxed state this weekend, then you could instead follow the scientists taking to the streets in Washington DC today to defend their field. More than 500 solidarity marches are also taking place in cities across the world in protest against what they say is an anti-science agenda in Donald Trump’s administration. However, not everyone agrees – the concept has become a divisive issue.
On Sunday, the 37th London marathon will take place and it’s getting more popular each year. It’s so oversubscribed in fact that it’s easier to get a place if you show a commitment to fundraising. One in three starting places are “owned” by charitable organisations who are free to offer them.
Also, don’t forget to check out our latest quiz.
Miriam Frankel
Science Editor

Top story

On the count of three, you will forget this ever happened. Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Hypnosis may still be veiled in mystery – but we are starting to uncover its scientific basis

Devin Terhune, Goldsmiths, University of London; Steven Jay Lynn, Binghamton University, State University of New York
A review of studies in psychology and neuroscience shows we are well on the way to understanding what goes on in our brains when we are hypnotised.

Science + Technology

Politics + Society

Environment + Energy

Business + Economy

Arts + Culture

Health + Medicine


Anthill 12: Don't remember this

Will de Freitas, The Conversation; Annabel Bligh, The Conversation; Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Miriam Frankel, The Conversation
This episode of The Anthill podcast delves into the world of memory. We talk to psychologists, historians and political scientists about how and why we remember some things and forget others.


Pressmaster / shutterstock

The Conversation Quiz – #8

Will de Freitas, The Conversation; Fiona Lally, The Conversation
Test your knowledge against a week of Conversation content.

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