Mathematics, Measurement and Money

Throughout its brief history, mathematics has been closely linked with measurement and money. In the ancient settlements the rules of arithmetic and geometry were used to solve problems about the allocation of food and resources. When life became more complex, the use of coined money led to computational problems that required good algorithms for their […]

Are economic growth and biodiversity conservation compatible?

Economic growth has undoubtedly improved human livelihoods yet has equally convincingly had negative effects on the environment. Scientists are considering introducing a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, to capture humanity’s impact on Earth’s ecosystems. . This debate will bridge developmental and ecological economics with political and environmental science to explore how humanity can manage economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the greenest of them all? Eco-conscious consumers are increasingly trying to make decisions based on a company’s green credentials. But beneath all the marketing rhetoric, how can we really tell the environmental heroes from the villains? I’m not very good at recycling. Quite frankly, I struggle to see the […]

In Trials We Trust

All science depends on trust. Trust that experiments are repeatable, observations objectively made, and research conducted without bias. We trust the reputation of journals and the expertise of reviewers. With the fragmentation and specialisms of modern science, trust is perhaps more important than ever, but it’s been necessary from the start. When Galileo claimed there […]

Buzz Off: Are Bees the Answer to the Elephant Wars?

“I studied Zoology.” “Oh right, the study of zoos.” “Not exactly.” Zoology is the study of ANIMALS and it’s one of those science disciplines that rarely gets the reaction that chemistry or physics have come to expect. The response is normally one of confusion – why would anyone want to study something that has no […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]