Camille Flammarion: Making science popular

Life on this planet is currently crazy, chaotic and confusing. In this context, I was thinking – wouldn’t it be nice to be able to poke one’s head out of the earthly firmament and look at the heavens beyond. This thought popped into my head because I had once seen an image depicting something like …

Climate science and climate fiction: Alarmist, really?

For more than 25 years, climate scientists have warned politicians and the general public about the dangers posed by global warming. Sometimes they have been listened to; more often then not they have been accused of alarmism. For more than a century, novelists and film makers have explored the possible, often catastrophic and dystopian, effects …

Natural/artificial

The Nuffield Foundation on Bioethics will soon report on a project that critically explores “how current public and political bioethics debates are affected by ideas about naturalness and how this correlates with academic discussions relating to the concept”. This made me think, especially as I am working now as a social scientist with a team …

Synthetic Biology; or the Modern Prometheus

When waiting for a plane, I was randomly musing about synthetic biology, responsible innovation and stories – this is the result. Once upon a time there were Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary wrote Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus (first published in 1818; now available in twitter-form, as tweeted by Katie Reeves); …

Science, politics and epigenetics

This post by Shea Robison is reposted here with the permission of author. Shea originally posted it on his blog ‘The nexus of epigenetics‘ under the title “Epigenetics Minority Report Part I: Epigenetics, blame, precrime and politics“ *** If you picked up the movie reference in the title to this post, you are likely (hopefully) asking …

Jules Verne: Making science visual

On Christmas Eve I had a chance encounter on twitter and the result is this blog post, or rather: essay. Richard Ashcroft had retweeted a tweet about a book by Adam Roberts. The book retells Jules Verne’s story of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea and contains new illustrations by Mahendra Singh. I have now …

Taking charge of the apocalypse: On serendipity, walruses and last men

A week ago somebody sent me this YouTube video of a walrus that makes noises on command. I sent it on to a few people, including my sister. She sent me back a picture of a sea lion taken while on holiday in Alaska, which I have used as the featured image for this blog. …

Unseasonable weather; unseasonable climate? Facts, fictions and fantasies

I have just come back from a place in Dorset that my husband’s family has visited every summer for the last forty years or so and that I have visited for the last twenty. I sometimes needed to take and wear an anorak. This has changed and I have been wearing it more often over …