Another species of human discovered – and what it means for us

I was intrigued by reports last week on the discovery of a previously unknown extinct human species, Homo luzonensis, in a cave in the Phillipines. It’s the fourth new human species – genus Homo – discovered in the past twenty years. All are extinct, and much clearly remains to be revealed, but it’s nonetheless clear … More Another species of human discovered – and what it means for us

The science behind the awesome black hole photograph

It’s been a hot week for science. Thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope, an algorithm created by 29-year old PhD graduate Katie Bouman, and a lot of hard work, humanity got its first photo of a black hole – M87 in the galaxy Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away. It wasn’t made with visible … More The science behind the awesome black hole photograph

Our solar system may be unique – let’s look after it

There’s growing evidence that not just our Earth but also the solar system we know and love is actually a rarity, as such things go. Many stars, we now learn, have planetary systems. But very few are like ours. That’s a change from even the mid-twentieth century, when we considered our solar system to be … More Our solar system may be unique – let’s look after it

Dinosaurs and birds – mixing up the classifications

One of the outcomes of the way the Age of Reason unfolded in the eighteenth century was an attempt to reduce the world to categories. Everything, it seemed, had its place: a slot into which it could be put. That’s often useful – take the periodic table of elements, for instance, which is a way … More Dinosaurs and birds – mixing up the classifications