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 […]

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 […]

News talk

Yesterday, the news cycle covered Conor Lenihan’s proposed launch of a book on creationism. The science minister began by defending the gig as a favour to a friend, then the story went away when the invitation was withdrawn. This afternoon Sean Moncrieff interviewed the author, John J May. Among the tweets in response to the […]

In the beginning was the word

There was a time when book burning mattered. Once upon a time, religions enforced dictates by burning books containing the wrong opinions. To be orthodox was, literally, to hold the right opinion. And just in case that didn’t work, heretics were burned at the stake for good measure. At the end of the medieval era, […]

Failure to communicate

I attended a seminar on the chilling effects of libel this evening, hosted by the Science Gallery in TCD. Simon Singh spoke about his successful fight against the British Chiropractic Association, and Peter Wilmshurst spoke of his ongoing battle with NMT Medical, a US medical devices maker. Two lawyers also addressed the gathering. After a […]

It’s Alive!

This week, scientists created artificial life. Well, sort of. Truth is, once you snip away the press release puff and spin, it’s more a case that scientists copied life. Here’s how the BBC reported what happened: ‘The researchers copied an existing bacterial genome. They sequenced its genetic code and then used synthesis machines to chemically […]