Germany opens first commercial offshore wind farm

Germany has unveiled its first commercial offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The wind farm, which has been given the name ‘Bard Offshore 1’, lies approximately 55 miles north west of the German island of Borkum. Bard Offshore 1 is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2012, by which time it will have […]

Ich bin bloggerin…Je suis blogueure…Soy bloguera…

Unlike speakers of many other languages, English speakers are, perhaps, fortunate in being able to utter the words “I am a blogger”, without identifying themselves with a particular gender. Nevertheless, it would seem that there are still major issues surrounding gender in UK science blogging. And primary amongst these is undoubtedly the lack of females […]

Dawkins to Convert to Catholicism?!

In what is being branded one of the greatest u-turns of all time, Richard Dawkins has announced he’s to become a Catholic. The shock announcement comes following the emergence of recent evidence disproving the theory of evolution. On Tuesday, Professor Sherzer of the University of Lügen announced that his team of archaeologists had discovered fossils of […]

Science Behind the Photo #11

Last week, the UK government put the Lake District forward as one of its 11 nominees for new UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Other sites nominated by the government include the Forth Bridge and St Helena, the South Atlantic island where Napoleon died in1821. The government is also making a third attempt to have Charles Darwin’s […]

Guerrilla Gardening

What the hell is ‘guerrilla gardening’? Although the term was first coined in New York in the seventies, ‘guerrilla gardeners’ have actually been active in the UK since the 17th century. Put simply, ‘guerrilla gardeners’ are people who garden other people’s land without permission. The motivations for doing this can be diverse: the ‘guerrillas’ may […]

Tackling Climate Change at Imperial College

Imperial College’s main contribution to tackling climate change is undoubtedly through the world of academic research. However, it is also important for institutions such as Imperial to set an example in terms of their own carbon dioxide emissions. To this end, Imperial has set itself a target of reducing its CO2 emissions 20% by 2014. […]

‘Unseen Science’ – Issue 17 Out Tomorrow!

The way we perceive the world is inevitably shaped by the models created in our brains. As a species, we have evolved to understand the world in such a way as to maximise our survival chances out on the African savannah plains of the Pleistocene and this has inevitably had consequences in defining that which […]

Space Shuttle Columbia

On 1st February 2003, I arrived home from school with my younger brother, just as usual. We turned on the TV and there it was, the news was on every channel. This had happened once before, on 11th September, 2001 and that had changed the whole world in a dramatic way. In hindsight, the repercussions from the Columbia […]

Space Shuttle Challenger

Continuing from the last two weeks’ blogs, the topic for today’s entry is the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Around three weeks ago, memorials were held to coincide with the 25th anniversary of this tragedy, with large crowds turning up at the site of the disaster in Cape Canaveral. On Tuesday 28th January 1986, Challenger launched. However, […]

Science behind the Photo #6

Ever since French entomologists August Magnan and  André Sainte-Lague famously declared that bee flight was aerodynamically impossible, a popular myth has prevailed that the phenomenon of bee flight is beyond our current scientific capabilities to explain. In fact, it was beyond our reach for over 70 years. However,  in 2006 a team of researchers from […]

Apollo 1

Next Monday, we should be celebrating the 44th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 1, the start of the programme that would eventually take man to the moon in 1969. I say we should be celebrating this anniversary, but of course it didn’t actually turn out that way. On 27th January 1967, just over three […]

Science Behind the Photo #5

  Amur (Siberian) Tiger Panthera tigris altaica (Photo by Andrew Purcell) The Chinese Year of the Tiger came to an end on 3rd February. As part of the Year of the Tiger, a major conservation effort has taken place in China to protect the remaining Tigers in this region. According to the most recent WWF survey, […]

Lost in Space

Friday 28th January this year marked the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. However, the Challenger disaster was neither the first, nor the last, time lives have been lost in the quest to explore John F. Kennedy’s “new ocean”. With NASA preparing to retire its shuttle fleet soon, perhaps now is a suitable […]

Plight of the Penguins

I realise that our blogs have been somewhat penguin-heavy this week and I can assure you that this was in no way planned (at least not on my behalf). I had originally intended this blog to be about the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. However, faced with the prospect of being branded […]

For Sale: England’s Woodlands

Everything must go! Please, please, please handle with care. Given the disappointing economic growth figures announced on Tuesday, it is perhaps understandable that the coalition government is resorting to desperate measures in order to save some cash. However, there are many who believe – regardless of how austere times may be –there are certain resources […]

A Very Social Revolution

Over recent days, many analysts have been quick to highlight the prominent role that social media technology has played in driving the Tunisian revolution. Of course, Twitter is already widely acknowledged to have played a role in the 2009 Iranian election protests and amateur videos posted online in 2007 allowed the world to see the […]

Science Behind the Photo #1

Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) Almost a third of butterflies in Europe are in decline and one in ten is threatened with extinction. This also has a severe knock-on effect for the plant species which rely on butterflies for pollination. A recent report by Natural England has found that that the number of butterflies in the […]

Strawberry Genome Sequenced

A multinational team of scientists has successfully sequenced the genome of woodland strawberries. Whilst these aren’t the kind of strawberries you can find in your local supermarket, understanding their genetic code still has huge potential. Not only are woodland strawberries closely related to their cultivated counterparts, they are also part of the same genetic family […]