Category Archives: scientists

Do we need Nobel Prizes in science?

This article by Ed Yong in The Atlantic is almost two years old, but I hadn’t seen it before—or at least I don’t remember reading it. Reader Bryan, who sent me the link (click on screenshot for a free read), says it’s “pretty good”, and, indeed, it’s about the best critique of Nobel Prizes I […]

A visit with Dick Lewontin

by Greg Mayer While on the East Coast to attend the Evolution 2019 meetings in Providence, Rhode Island, I also stopped for a few days at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Jerry’s and my alma mater), and got a chance to visit with Dick Lewontin, Jerry’s Ph.D. advisor, and my de jure Ph.D. advisor (my […]

Dick Lewontin at 90

My Ph.D. adviser, Dick Lewontin, turned 90 yesterday, as Grania noted in the Hili Dialogue. I couldn’t be there to fete him, but my friend Andrew Berry at Harvard went over to the facility in Cambridge where Dick lives with his beloved wife Mary Jane. Andrew carried some written wishes from Dick’s students and postdocs, […]

Cox interviews Attenborough on Darwin (and other interviews)

by Matthew Cobb My friend and colleague Professor Brian Cox is not only a Professor of Physics at the University of Manchester, he is also Professor for Public Engagement in Science at the Royal Society in London. As part of this, he decided to interview a number of Fellows of the Royal Society about their […]

Bill Nye excoriated for attending State of the Union address with Trump’s proposed NASA chief

I’ve made no secret about my lack of affection for Bill “The Science Guy” Nye.  Although at one time he may have been a great promoter of science for kids, he seems unable to survive out of the limelight. The result is that he’s engaging in all sorts of activities to keep himself in the […]

The science books that inspired eight science writers (and me)

Yesterday’s Guardian has nice survey of eight science writers (many of them working scientists): “‘I was hooked for life’: Science writers on the books that inspired them.” They don’t make it clear that they’re really asking about popular books, as some of the books that “fired my imagination”, as the article notes, weren’t science trade […]

Krauss’s two articles on the Science March

As I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve been conflicted about participating in the March for Science, and have explained why I decided not to participate—but why I don’t discourage others from doing so. I wish them well, and hope that they effect some change. In the meantime, physicist Lawrence Krauss has published two simultaneous pieces on today’s […]

Google celebrates Antonii van Leeuwenhoek

Today is the birthday of Antonii van Leeuwenhoek, and in honor of his achievement Google made an animated Doodle (click on it to go to Google). Since Matthew is an expert on the man and his science, which forms a part of his book The Egg and Sperm Race (also called Generation), I asked him to write a few […]

Will machines rule the world?

by Matthew Cobb You may recall the links to the video discussion a couple of weeks back on whether alien life existed. We also recorded a second discussion, discussing if machines will rule the world. Apart from myself, the other participants were David Kirby (biologist and historian), Alastair Reynolds (astronomer and SF writer), Danielle George […]

Are there aliens? (Unedited TV pilot)

by Matthew Cobb Here are some links to a TV pilot I have made along with five scientific colleagues/friends – David Kirby (biologist and historian), Alastair Reynolds (astronomer and SF writer), Danielle George (radio engineer), Aravind Vijayaraghavan (nanotechnologist) and Sheena Cruickshank (immunologist) (all of us except Alastair are from the University of Manchester). The programmes […]