Tag Archives: science

William Tanner and the Peterloo Massacre

On the Sixteenth of August, 1819, a crowd of some 80,000 gathered on St. Peter’s field in Manchester. Their main purpose — besides enjoying the uncommonly good weather — was to demand reform of the rigid parliamentary rules that disenfranchised … Continue reading

Posted in History, Manchester, Mathematics and Logic, Science and Medicine, The Lost Journals of William Tanner | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A shallow thought about depth

Late at night, while I was browsing through my favourite blogs, it occurred to me that blogging is a shallow activity. Blog thoughts, like this one, scrape the surface of subjects that could be investigated in depth. Even a blogger … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Research, Science and Medicine | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The “science can’t . . . ” gambit

So you’ve demolished the arguments advanced by your woo-loving religious adversary: astrology trashed; homeopathy shredded; creationism flushed. But then your opponent’s eyes light up and a wry smile crosses his lips. You know what’s coming, don’t you? “Science may have … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism and Religion, Crank science, Religion, Science and Medicine, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

We are not Stephen King

“But don’t you make money off your publications?” Academics — university professors like me — get the question all the time. Those outside the ivory tower assume that when we publish a paper, we get royalties. They couldn’t be more … Continue reading

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Dead People I Would Invite for Dinner

History is replete with boors. Consider, for example, Alexander the (so-called) Great, Oliver Cromwell and Mao Zedong. Sit down with one of those and you’d get such an earful self-aggrandizement (Alex), theology (Oliver) or ideology (Mao) that you’d be comatose … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Which countries are research giants?

On its news website, the journal Nature recently published a graphic illustrating scientific research activity around the world as measured by the number of papers published from January to October 2011. Nature obligingly arranged the data by country. A glance … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Statistics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment