The Conservation Beauty Pageant

I will be the first to admit that I am a fan of all things cute and cuddly. Send me a snow leopard adoption pack any day of the week, but a spider conservation trust? No thank you! We have an astonishing array of creatures and all of them contribute towards the big ecological system … More


Dirty are the windows through which we see the Universe

BICEP2’s claim of a detection of primordial gravitational waves amounts to a dust bowl On Friday 14th March 2014, a rumour started to spread among scientists that the BICEP2 collaboration were due to announce something extraordinary in a press conference to be held on the following Monday. The day of the leak being a Friday … More


We came, we saw, we conferenced

theGIST’s Science for Society conference is now over! We had an excellent day discussing and deliberating evidence based policy and the role of science in public policy. It was enlightening, invigorating and most of all entertaining. We hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did. Below are some pictures from the day courtesy of … More


The Political Scientist

The UK Government has for many years been the willing recipients of scientific expertise and advice, largely when the physical world has given cause for alarm. But in 1999 when New Labour called for a greater involvement of science in everyday decisions in British policy-making through “evidence-based policy”, the role of science in policy changed. … More


The Autism Spectrum: Are scientists at the top end?

Do you think that there is a specific set of behaviours that are more frequent in students who study science than students who study humanities? Are scientists more likely to have traits associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), such as introversion, lack of social skills and obsessiveness when compared to successful people in the arts? … More


Bug-eating: in practice

In our recent print issue, we introduced an interesting new addition to our cuisine: bugs. Timothy Revell proposed that we should get used to the idea of including insects in our diet as they are very nutritious, it is ethical in terms of both environmental sustainability and animal welfare, plus they are already consumed by … More


Corporate psychopaths talk their way up

When we think of psychopaths, we usually think of serial killers and cold-hearted murderers lurking on a dark back street. However, recent research suggests that many psychopaths occupy highly valued positions in our society. Instead of wearing a prison uniform, they put on a suit and their charming smile and get to business. Indeed, incidence … More


Science for Society Article Competition

theGIST’s Science for Society Article Competition is finally here! Discussing the role of science and policy each article tackles the subject in a unique way. The top three articles will be presented at the conference, so read them all and vote for your favourite. More


Witnessing Vikings: What Science Can Tell Us

Recently, a three-year-old study resurfaced on the internet which made the feminists all squeal out in joy. The study had found, through osteological examination of skeletons, that Viking graves containing swords and shields, previously assumed by archaeologists to belong to men, in fact belonged to women. Naturally, this caused all sorts of speculation about the … More


Ada Lovelace Day

Baroness Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, now commonly known as Ada Lovelace, because that’s too much of a mouthful, was the daughter of Lord Byron. Ada was a great mathematician and the catalyst that kick-started the understanding of the potential of Charles Babbage’s analytical engine. She wrote the first ever computer algorithm and, as … More


A dilemma of mammoth proportions

It is a poignant moment in Jurassic Park, isn’t it? Everyone gathered round the dining table hotly debating the ethics of a theme park filled with resurrected dinosaurs, when Jeff Goldblum‘s character, Dr Ian Malcolm, utters the reason ethics is so important in modern research: “… your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not … More


theGIST Issue 3: read online

Thanks to everyone who helped put this together – we are immensely proud to present to you: theGIST Issue 3.