Guru Review

Today sees the release of Issue 1 of Guru magazine. It’s a great read with lots of interesting science presented in an easily accessible way. The design has improved leaps and bounds since the pilot issue was released a couple of months ago and this issue features contributions from I, Science regulars Camila Ruz and Ben […]

Interview with a Guru

This week, I catch up with Guru magazine editor, Dr Stuart Farrimond… So Stuart, What is Guru? Broadly speaking, Guru is a concept. It’s about breaking down barriers between the scientific community and the general public. Despite huge advancements in technology; the development and growth of the internet (and the associated availability of information) – […]

Can we really afford another COP out?

  Since the disappointment of the 2009 COP15 summit in Copenhagen, derailed by the twin distractions of the escalating global financial crisis and the revelations of the so-called ‘climategate affair’, talks to agree legally-binding global CO2 reduction targets have somewhat lost their way. Now, with just over a year to go before the Kyoto Protocol […]

Tuition Fees

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

Imperial College Pull Out

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

Immigration

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

Is Science Vital?

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

Pisa Cake

  Earlier this year, Imperial College Professor, John Burland travelled to Italy to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a project that prevented the Leaning Tower of Pisa from collapsing. Professor Burland worked as part of a 14 member committee charged with stabilising the tower, which began to develop its characteristic lean after construction progressed to the second […]

Funding

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

Political Reception

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

Round, round, get around, I get around

Electrons are really, really, really round, according to research conducted by Imperial College scientists. The research, which was published in the journal Nature and took over ten years to complete, found that the electron differs from being perfectly round by less than 0.000000000000000000000000001 cm. This means that if the electron was magnified to the size […]

Campaigning

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. Today, Imran […]

CaSE

Last week, I travelled to UCL to meet Imran Khan, head of CaSE. Imran is an alumnus of the Imperial College Science Communication MSc course and was previously a researcher for former Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris. As Director of CaSE, Imran deals with a whole range of issues surrounding science policy. I caught […]

A Capital Solution

Prominent US environmental advocate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr shocked attendees at last month’s Sustainable Operations Summit in California, by using his keynote speech to extol the benefits of free market capitalism in helping tackle climate change. According to Kennedy, free market capitalism will allow us to effectively tackle climate change by preventing damaging public-private sector […]

Breathing life into spaceplane technology

The dream of spaceplanes has often been dismissed as fantasy, born out of bad 1950s science fiction films. According to most industry analysts, the rightful place of the spaceplane – along with food pills, floating cities and personal jetpacks – is consigned to the dustbin of history. However, one small company in Britain doesn’t seem […]

Global cooling?

The last week has seen a flurry of excitement over reports that solar activity may be set to decrease. Climate change deniers have sprung upon this news, with prominent Daily Telegraph blogger, James Delingpole, advocating that we increase greenhouse gas production, in order to mitigate any cooling associated with this decrease in solar activity. In […]

Science Behind the Photo #25

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) Frogs are amphibians, which means  ‘tail-less’, from the Greek an-, meaning ‘without’ and oura, meaning ‘tail’.  Formerly, they were referred to as Salientia, which comes from the Latin salere, ‘to jump’. Frogs are, of course, known for their jumping ability, as well as their strange life cycle — born as tadpoles, which later go through […]

Space Ageing

This week, the Space Shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth for the final time. Following this mission, NASA plans to send only one more shuttle into orbit. It will then retire its ageing shuttle fleet after a total of 135 spaceflights. For many, this decision is long overdue. Running a space agency is a very expensive business […]

Science Behind the Photo #23

White Stork  (Ciconia ciconia) You may be aware of species, such as kangaroos for instance, which use saliva to cool their bodies in the same way that humans and other primates use sweat. However, did you also know that some animals use their excrement for this purpose? This process is known as urohidrosis and is […]

Science Behind the Photo #22

The Insurance Hypothesis Farming monoculture, such as in this corn field, can lead to decreased net ecosystem CO2 intake, meaning land becomes less useful in the fight against climate change. According to the insurance hypothesis: “Biodiversity insures ecosystems against declines in their functioning because many species provide greater guarantees that some will maintain functioning even […]

Green Britain

The UK needs to increase investment in renewable energy sources if it is to meet EU climate change targets, according to a report out this week. The report was published by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent body set up to advise the government on reducing the UK’s carbon footprint. The report advocates […]

Science Behind the Photo #21

  Increasing average global temperatures are allowing alien species from Mediterranean climates to invade into more northerly areas. This is a major problem in the large alpine forest areas of central Europe. A prime example of such an invasive species is the pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa). This moth species, originally from the Mediterranean is […]

Why science needs the state, but the state needs science even more

As we seem to have no blog today, here’s an opinion piece I wrote back in March… If the government fails to invest in science today, there will inevitably be both a huge cultural and economic price to pay tomorrow. Last week, Science Minister David Willetts described Pfizer’s plans to close its Kent R&D site, […]

Science Behind the Photo #19

  There can be few species on Earth about which more myths exist than piranhas. Piranhas have an aggressive image as flesh-eaters, able to dilacerate a human body in seconds. While piranhas do occasionally attack humans, this is only usually when water levels are low and there has never been an official recorded death due […]

Science Behind the Photo #18

    Coral reefs around the world are rapidly being degraded by a number of human activities including over-fishing, coastal development, and the introduction of sewage fertiliser and sediment. Climate change is also a major cause of coral reef destruction. Coral reefs are often described as “the rainforests of the sea”, as they are home […]

Science Behind the Photo #16

One of the IPCC’s key predictions for climate change in Europe is that we will experience, on average, milder winters. One of the problems warmer winters could cause is a significant rise in tick population numbers. Whilst this isn’t a problem we tend to hear too much about here in the UK, the prospect of […]

Science Behind the Photo #15

Some shocking statistics about the world’s rivers: Every day, 2 million tons of human waste are disposed of in water courses. (Source: World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)) In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply. (Source: WWAP) Projected increases in fertilizer use for […]

Science Behind the Photo #14

Earlier this month, researchers from New Zealand announced that they had observed wasps lifting up ants and carrying them away from food. This video footage also shows how the wasps hurl the ants away in their desperate attempts to monopolise the food source.  Although this video was made in a laboratory environment, the ant-dropping behaviour […]

Science Behind the Photo #13

Given that many Christians will be celebrating Easter this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to use an image of a passion flower I took a couple of years ago in France for this week’s science behind the photo. To be honest, I just stumbled across this fascinating story of how the flower got […]

Science Behind the Photo #12

Forget cat’s eyes on our roads, now it’s all about the otters. Last week, it was announced that Highland Council plan to install reflectors alongside some roads in Wester Ross, Scotland, in order to help reduce the number of otter deaths occurring in this area. The reflectors are to be installed alongside roads at otter-eye […]