The common clay of the new social media. You know…

The initial social media response to my Listener cover article was intriguing. It mostly riffed from snap judgement of the cover and headline without reading the actual content. Alas, being ignorant of what I’d said didn’t stop commenters from judging what they imagined I wrote, sight unseen. If I judge something, I have to know … More The common clay of the new social media. You know…

Making science problems go away by changing our thinking

It’s always intrigued me how apparently intractable puzzles emerge in science, then disappear again without any new evidence being found. What’s changed, instead, is the pattern into which we’re trying to slot the evidence – the ‘organising principle’. It’s an innate human thing: we always look for patterns. And the pattern then becomes reality, often … More Making science problems go away by changing our thinking

Einstein was right…again. Gravitational waves rule!

About 1.3 billion years ago, two black holes collided – and the whole fabric of space-time rang like a bell. Last September, researchers in the US detected the gravitational ripples. They announced it this week – and THAT, my friends, is awesome news. It’s not just the fact that Albert Einstein predicted them 100 years … More Einstein was right…again. Gravitational waves rule!

Planet 9 won’t be as big as Uranus. Really.

This week’s news in the Astronomical Journal that Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of CalTech have predicted a ninth planet got the usual barrage of silly media headlines about ‘discovery’. The thing is, Brown and Batygin haven’t found anything. They’ve hypothesised that there’s a planet. And they are not the first to wonder about some … More Planet 9 won’t be as big as Uranus. Really.