Category Archives: scientists

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 […]

Tim White goes Full Curmudgeon: damns the love affair between media and science

Timothy White, a paleoanthropologist at Berkeley, is rightly famous for his work on hominin fossils, especially Lucy. And he’s done some good work against creationism as well: he was the scientist who most flummoxed the UK creationists in our television show “Conspiracy Road Trip“. The fundies just couldn’t get around his sequential presentation and explanation of hominin skulls (see […]

Is falsifiability essential to science?

The two articles I want to discuss today are fascinating, for they raise a problem that’s now vexing many scientists (especially physicists)—the problem of testability. (Thanks to reader Mark H. for calling my attention to them.) It all goes back to the philosopher Karl Popper (1902-1994). Popper’s views about what made a theory “scientific” were immensely influential. They’re summed […]

The Infinite Monkey Cage: USA tour

by Grania As some of you already know The Infinite Monkey Cage is a much-loved BBC Radio 4 radio show and podcast on science hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince with weekly guests including such luminaries as Matthew Cobb and, more recently, Jerry Coyne. It’s usually hilarious, fast-paced and covers a range of […]