Tag Archives: science

Solar weather and planet Earth

An interview with Dr Lyndsay Fletcher, Glasgow University, about solar weather, recorded for Scibernia in June 2011. [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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Irish Science Teachers Association

An interview with Yvonne Higgins, chairperson of the Irish Science Teachers Association, for Scibernia, recorded in April 2011. [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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Dunsink Observatory and Dublin Mean Time

I recently visited Dunsink observatory to do a piece for Scibernia. You can listen to the piece below, or visit the Scibernia website to hear the entire show, including insect-eating and the science behind invisibility cloaks. Click here to listen: [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

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Reality Check

I want facts. And that means that often, some of my most productive reading is on blogs. Bloggers (unpaid, writing in their spare time, dismissed as hobbyists by “proper” journalists) produce the goods often enough to keep me coming back. Whether its Tony Humphreys‘ views on autism, a questionable advertising claim, or alleged social welfare fraud, the bloggers got there first, taking on the stories in the “mainstream” narrative. Whenever… Read Article →

Conventional wisdom: What everybody knows

Tuesday, John Murray held a phone-in to find a listener with the lowest bass singing voice in Ireland. As a throwaway remark, voice coach Paul Moussoulides said research showed listeners of both sexes preferred male voices on the radio. What research? WomenOnAir founder Margaret E Ward spent some time looking for this frequently cited research. It turns out what “everybody knows” is based on a single 1935 study of 80… Read Article →

Scibernia: The SFI Think-In

I’m an occasional contributor to Scibernia, the Science podcast also broadcast on Near fm. Too occasional, unfortunately. While I’ve done a few reports for the project, scheduling problems mean I rarely get a chance to sit in on the studio recordings. I do however manage the occasional piece, such as when I travelled to the Teagasc Oak Park Research Centre to talk with Dan Milbourne about Potato Genetics. Back in… Read Article →

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Poll positions

Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone writes about a phone poll of local councillors attitudes: “Two-thirds of Councillors from the two Government parties would support changes to the Croke Park Agreement, according to this survey carried out by my office. A total of 529 City and County Councillors responded to the phone poll, with 56% of the members from Opposition parties also stating they would support a renegotiation of the deal.”… Read Article →

Concern at post-graduate cutbacks

The director general of the statutory body charged with funding basic science research has expressed his concern at proposals to abolish funding for postgraduate students. Dr Graham Love was speaking at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Summit in Athlone, an annual event bringing together researchers funded by the body to carry out basic scientific research and promote cooperation between government, universities and industry. “I don’t know a huge amount about… Read Article →

Numbers Game

If you haven’t read Carl Sagan’s ‘Contact’, and dislike spoilers, stop reading now. ‘Contact’ is an epic novel about SETI and first contact, and Sagan uses the theme to explore intersections between science and religion. Evidence of alien intelligence causes all sorts of confusion for religions, with some arguing for ignorance to preserve faith, while the scientists unravel mysteries. At the end of the book (but not the film) an… Read Article →