When Scientists Meet Journalists

Scientists are rubbish at communicating their research outside of academia; at least that is the opinion I took in an article I wrote for theGIST’s Science for Society conference article competition. But others must have also agreed, because it was voted overall winner on the day. However, the good news for scientists is that there … More

Finding the Origins of Life in Space

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the University of Cologne and Cornell University, have recently discovered a molecule with an important structure. By analysing light from space using spectroscopy with a radio telescope array, isopropyl cyanide was identified within the star forming region Sagittarius B2. With a similar structure of carbons as … More

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