Treating soldiers with unlicensed drugs

It was reported recently that British soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are being treated with an experimental blood clotting agent that has not been licensed for general use in the National Health Service. The drug in question, NovoSeven Recombinent Factor VIIa, developed by the Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, is licensed to stem bleeding in […]

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Whither Swedish social democracy?

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 20 September 2006. The general election defeat of the Swedish social democrats may bring joy to Nordic liberals, but the centre-right government of Fredrik Reinfeldt will have a weak electoral mandate, the old regime has tight control of the civil service, and the […]

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Standby power: how significant a problem is it?

David Aaronovitch, in an interesting, if somewhat rambling article on global warming, presents readers with the following challenge: “Here’s a test though. What do readers think would be the reaction of public and opinion-formers to the following: a law to ban the production of electronic equipment with standby buttons? Stolid acceptance of the sense of […]

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Climate change is happening, so how should we deal with it?

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 5 September 2006. Environmental scientists all too often fail to get their message across to the public in terms that will have a positive and lasting impact. The language scientists and lobby groups use can be either opaque, with decontextualised numbers flying all […]

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Pluto in the doghouse

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 30 August 2006. Please note that the Gulf Daily News republished this article without permission, and in clear violation of its syndication agreement with the Guardian. The Gulf Daily News refused to pay a retrospective syndication fee, and continued to host the article […]

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A farewell to physics?

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 11 August 2006. That physics education is in decline is beyond doubt; the figures speak for themselves. According to a research study recently published by Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson, educationalists based at the University of Buckingham, the numbers of students taking […]

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Reclaiming the English tradition

This article is published also on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website and Dave Hill’s Temperana blog. It was Dave Hill who originally commissioned this piece for a series on impressions of England. “What is it to be English? It is a very serious question. The English are somehow embarrassed about some of the good […]

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Argument and consensus on the environment

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 24 July 2006. The Copenhagen Consensus project is a valuable contribution to the debate on environmental policy, but it’s one small part of a wide-ranging discussion involving scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers and the general public. Perhaps the strongest idea to come out […]

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Smoke and mirrors in the nuclear debate

The Liberal Democrat’s energy spokesman, Chris Huhne, writes today in the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog about the government’s decision to back nuclear power. It’s a pretty insubstantial piece, and he appears to be playing the “I am greener than thou.” game, in competition with the Conservative leader, David Cameron. This, is not, however, about […]

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