“To unambiguously settle the questions of whether there was life on Mars it will take scientists down on the surface.” This is the quote that made me sit up and take notice during the European Lunar Symposium at the Museum a couple of weeks ago. It was said by NASA’s chief scientist, Dr Ellen Stofan,… Read More Onwards to Mars
The results are not of sufficiently general interest. That’s what the journal said. What they were turning down, however, was proof that research they previously had deemed interesting enough to publish, was wrong. Not just a bit wrong. Flat wrong. Although it’s a bit of a complex tale biologically, the basics are this: some amphibians… Read More A tale of lungs, mistaken identity, and the importance of negative results
It’s not a secret to most of you that I’m on the look out for love. I like being with somebody, sharing life, all that good stuff. I spend a lot of time though, worried that I want it too much, that I’m holding off being happy until it happens. I reassure myself. If I… Read More Tough love
I was pretty proud of my headline for the the latest research story on the impact of Neanderthal interbreeding with early modern humans: ‘The pros and cons of dating a Neanderthal‘. It raised a smirk among my colleagues, and was actually relevant: two new research papers describe how early humans leaving Africa 60,000 years ago interbred… Read More Neanderthals: always giving good head(lines)
I have to congratulate the European Space Agency. The interest and fervour they created around the space probe Rosetta ‘waking up’ from its 2.5-year hibernation yesterday was astonishing. I mean, in the grand scheme of the mission, which launched in 2004, this is just a small step really. What about when Rosetta actually reaches its… Read More So, space is cool again?
A biochemist friend of mine some years ago told me, while a little tipsy at a party, that she didn’t really believe in evolution. Well, not evolution exactly, the origin of species and all that was easy enough, but the origin of life itself from inorganic chemistry. How could that possibly have happened? At the… Read More Evolution is easy – what about the origin of life?
I work at The Natural History Museum in London. I have two Masters in Science and a Masters in Journalism, and I finally have an adult job. My job title is ‘science web editor’ – day-to-day I get pages of info from scientists about their research and the collections and I edit it for the… Read More Being an adult
It’s amazing how easy it is to stagnate. I’m like a body thrown into the dead zone of the Baltic Sea; the anoxia stops me from rotting but I’m not coming back to life either. I’m just stagnant. Since I moved back to the UK from Canada at the start of June, I haven’t achieved… Read More Writer’s Block
My thesis is published!! OK, so it was published a couple of weeks ago, but what with all the moving countries I didn’t get much more time to harp on about other than quick social media plugs. You’ve heard me harp on about fracking a lot though, so instead I want to touch on lessons… Read More Has fracking made BC a petro state?
Now, I’m very aware that in writing this post, I may be exposing my own cognitive dissonance, but hopefully I can reason my way out of it. Lately, I’ve seen a slew of stories about the political left war on science, e.g. anti-GMO, pro-alt-med, anti-nuke. The first one I read was in New Scientist a… Read More The battle over who’s at war with science