#cheltscifest Discover Zone (Chelt Sci Fest gallery 2014)

Scintillating Science: Cheltenham Festival 2014

Will we ever understand the Universe? Is intelligence heritable? Can we really tell what colour dinosaurs were just from a pile of fossils? These are just a tiny sample of the myriad discussions and presentations taking place this past week in the Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham at another fantastic The Times Cheltenham Festival of Science…

Over 2,000 trucks are required per frack job

Watts: Energy Executive Dispels Fracking Myths…?

A 25 year history with Shell, Senior VP of Halliburton and President of PFC Energy makes for an impressive CV but not one that naturally predisposes an anti-fracking conservationist to you. True, when the invite to Dr Lew Watts’ talk on fracking was released to Bristol’s Alumni, the association experienced it first hate mail in…

source: wikipedia

Deconstructing De-Extinction

Extinction is a tragedy. The extinction of some species we feel so hard that the names of the last individual haunt us. Martha the passenger pigeon in 1914. Benjamin the thylacine in 1936. Celia the Pyrenean ibex in 2000. Species like these, charismatic and memorable and pretty much certainly wiped out at the hands of…

hope_for_our_earth_ipcc2014-e1395843274392

IPCC versus the NIPCC – are their reports comparable?

On Monday 31st March 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report”. The report evaluates the potential risks and benefits of climate change, and  how negative impacts can be reduced through adaptation and mitigation. The report is based on more than 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific…

Vegan cupcakes, plenty of sugar added...

Something so Sinister as Sugar…

  Sugar and spice and all things nice, so the rhyme goes. Only, if recent headlines are to be believed, we should be replacing ‘sugar’ pronto. Sweet poison: How sugar, not cocaine, is one of the most addictive and dangerous substances Eggs Don’t Cause Heart Attacks — Sugar Does Alcohol and sugar laws needed to…

Nim
(source: Project Nim)

Nim Chimpsky – Loved, Studied and Exploited

Humans have long been fascinated by the apparent similarities between themselves and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Glimpses of human-like behaviour, from comforting their young and forming alliances to cooperative hunting and tool use, have somewhat blurred the lines for many over the decades, with often extreme consequences. Project Nim is just one example how human love and…