Interview with Professor Bruce Malamud

In our interview with Professor Malamud, we discussed his paper on how human interactions with the environment can unintentionally create natural hazards, such as landslides, earthquakes, and floods.

Does Size Matter?

Last month, on Friday 13th, almost exactly 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, the Costa Concordia cruise ship hit well-charted rocks off the coast of Italy and sunk, with the loss of at least 17, and perhaps as many as 32, lives. While those of a superstitious ilk might be pondering otherworldly causes […]

When Business and Health Collide: Bhopal, India 1984

BY JOSEPH MALONE In 1969, as part of the “green revolution” in India, Union Carbide established a chemical plant in Bhopal to manufacture the pesticide Carbaryl. It contained the lethal compound Methyl Isocyanate (MIC), twice as heavy as air, meaning should a leak occur, it would create a blanket of deadly gas, smothering anything that […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Personal apocalypse

Scientists at Imperial College London and Purdue University have unveiled their new and improved impact effects calculator, ‘Impact Earth’.  First revealed in 2004, ‘Impact Earth’ is a web-based tool, designed to quickly calculate the environmental and regional consequences of an asteroid or comet colliding with our planet. Lying awake at night worrying about being obliterated […]