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Is the Moon a Planet?

***This post originally appeared on The Conversation, 24 February 2017, and is re-posted here with the permission of the author*** Study suggests we reclassify the moon as a planet – reopening a centuries-old debate By Stephen Pumfrey, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University Every now and then a scientific paper makes a real splash. We had one recently, to judge [...]

By | March 3rd, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Is the Moon a Planet?

HSTM and REF: An Insider’s Perspective

By Professor Mark Jackson, University of Exeter The academic world is changing.  The introduction of fees, rising student numbers, constraints on research funding and the push for open access, amongst other factors, have already altered the landscape of higher education and transformed relationships between academics, students and society.  Since 1986, the rhythm and scope of [...]

By | January 23rd, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on HSTM and REF: An Insider’s Perspective

CERN and the History of Science

By Dr. Jim Grozier John Krige’s brief history of politics and physics at CERN (published in Viewpoint 110, June 2016) provides a useful insight into the factors that brought the European research centre into being in the 1950s, including the Cold War, the rise of “big science”, and competition with the USA. Unfortunately, this history [...]

By | November 23rd, 2016|Blog|Comments Off on CERN and the History of Science

Darwin Day: Celebrating Without Deifying

By Alexander Hall, Newman University This post originally appeared on the Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum website Today, Friday February 12th 2016, is the 207th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Celebrated around the world as ‘Darwin Day’, events across 6 continents from Tel-Aviv to Tokyo will commemorate the English naturalist’s work, explore his legacy, and discuss the current state of affairs in the field of Evolutionary Biology and beyond. Whilst the majority of those attending lectures or participating in events today may do so to simply learn more about Darwin’s work, it is an opportune time to consider more deeply ‘why Darwin?’ Why not Newton, Einstein or Turing Day? Further, are we naïve to presume that such commemorative days are purely about celebrating history and science? Is what on the surface seems like a secular celebration of a historical scientific figure, in danger of alienating those with religious beliefs, and deifying one figure above all others? […]