Science - Archive Articles

An alternative history of space exploration

Last week I had a ticket (at short notice) to a lecture by Jerry Stone of the Spaceflight UK organisation – officially titled “The Day They Launched A Woodpecker”, but was basically an alternative history of space flight. It was

Nov
23
2010

Visiting the UK’s Largest Particle Accelerator

Just outside Didcot lies a very distinctive huge silver ring doughnut that houses, what is basically, a gigantic microscope – and this weekend there was a fairly rare public open day to let the great unwashed inside its structure to

Nov
14
2010
At the Launch of the Geek Calendar
At the Launch of the Geek Calendar

At the Launch of the Geek Calendar

A group of people sitting in a pub one night got a bit tipsy and debated the various aesthetic merits of selected sciency people, and plotted how to meet them.

Oct
26
2010
Does Stephen Hawking Dream of Electric Trains?
Does Stephen Hawking Dream of Electric Trains?

Does Stephen Hawking Dream of Electric Trains?

As part of the media frenzy to launch his new book - which has previously included headline friendly comments about the existence of God - a cosmologist managed to fill the cavernous Royal Albert Hall to give a talk on science, and his life in general.

Oct
21
2010

Free tours of the UK’s Synchrotron particle accelerator

Update: 13th October. Seems that all the available tickets went to the mailing list subscribers before any could be offered to the public. There will be another open day in March 2011, and the best (only?) way to get a

Oct
11
2010

Inventors, your country needs you!

Oh dear, a time for a fisking of a press release: According to the statement: “over half of the those working in the UK’s creative industries, a staggering 52% of the 1000 people surveyed, have never had an idea for

Sep
06
2010

Last Chance to Visit Hampstead Observatory

…until September. Hampstead Observatory, the 100-year old telescope observatory in North London is open to the general public for free during the winter months – but has to close for summer due to the annoyance of a lack of darkness

May
13
2010

Painting London’s roofs white

One of the worrying aspects about climate change is the melting ice in the Arctic, but not because all that melted ice would cause a rise in sea levels. In fact, about 90% of the ice is below sea level,

Feb
19
2010

CERN on Twitter

A slightly introspective posting – but as a fairly avid user of Twitter, I have been following the account being managed by the people at the particle physics lab at CERN. A fairly quiet account, things livened up considerably on

Nov
22
2009

Tour a Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Just had an email from the nuclear fusion research centre just outside Reading with the dates for their 2010 open evenings. The dates are: 19th May, 13th July, 15th September, 20th October, 24th November. All are on Wednesday evenings and

Nov
18
2009

Science and media disconnect? Maybe not, says a new study

An interesting report has wafted my way on the topic of science and interacting with the general public, although the report was actually more about scientists talking to journalists who then write stuff that the general public read. It was

Sep
09
2009

Visit a Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Just received an update that an additional date has been added to the public tours of the JET fusion reactor near Oxford – for the evening of 17th June 2009. The tours start at 6:30pm and are free – and

Mar
28
2009

Researchers find shocking result from survey

Poor customer service leads to loss of customers Professor Tor W. Andreassen and associate professor Line Lervik Olsen of BI Norwegian School of Management have carried out a broad-ranging study of 899 bank customers to see how good and bad

Mar
26
2009

Scientific collectables at Christie’s

It is probably a tiny bit naughty, but one often overlooked free event is to go to the viewing days at auction houses and have a look at the items being sold. A really good one is coming up shortly

Mar
19
2009

London Murders: Stats Theory Shows Numbers Are Predictable

Found an interesting report on my science RSS feeds this morning, which ties in with something which tends to irritate me slightly about how the media runs with “scare stories”. We all tend to focus on big one-off events, but

Mar
18
2009

The Ig Nobel Tour of Improbable Research

I had a truly entertaining night after wandering along to the London leg of the Ig Nobel tour – where various scientist types are invited to give a short talk about some recent research which has landed them with the

Mar
13
2009

Science programming on Television

Last night I settled down to watch what was once my favourite TV show, and is still tolerable – the science series, Horizon. Like much TV on the “main channels” though, it has dumbed down a lot over the past

Feb
18
2009

The Ig Nobel Awards – Coming to London

Just a heads up for an event occurring in March, for which you need to book tickets now(ish). The Ig Nobel awards – given to genuine scientific research which tends to baffle and lead to joky headlines in the tabloid

Feb
12
2009

See the Space Station in the morning

A potentially interesting way to start the first working day of the new year – get up really early on Friday morning and you might be able to see the International Space Station fly overhead – albeit at a very

Dec
30
2008

Watch a Satellite Launch Live

Tomorrow evening (Sat 20th Dec), it will be possible to watch a satellite launch live, as a launch of the massive Ariane 5 rocket will be taking place. Alas, it is only via the internet from South America – as

Dec
19
2008

Cloning an Ice-Age Mammoth

On Thursday evening I wandered along to the Grant Museum for the last of their current series of lectures themed around Dinosaurs. The topic was very “Jurassic Park”, being on cloning dead animals – although to keep it scientifically realistic

Dec
13
2008

Clear sky at night – Observers delight

According to the weather reports, this Saturday night (6th Dec) is expected to be very clear – and cold. The Hampstead Observatory in North London is open to the public from 8pm and this could be a good night to

Dec
05
2008

Visiting a Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Did you know that the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor is based here in the UK – in fact, just outside Oxford? Well – it is. Before you worry about Oxford’s towering spires melting in a nuclear fireball if something

Nov
14
2008

The myth about Food Miles

I read often from the hand-wringing brigade about the evils of “food miles” and how we should always buy locally produced food. As a statement, it sounds sensible – why “waste” effort importing food from the other side of the

Oct
05
2008