Victory on 8 June will be pyrrhic for whoever wins the election

This evening, less than a week before a snap general election, Royston, a once notable but now economically stagnant town in the east of England, will stage an election hustings at which all candidates for the parliamentary seat of North East Hertfordshire should be present. Royston politics are such that a brick decorated in a […]

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Should the EU’s next research programme be ERC writ large?

A new report from research and innovation advisory group RISE recommends that the the European Commission move away from funding large-scale R&D projects, and instead focus more on supporting individual researchers. Such a change in research infrastructure would shift the model of Europe’s next framework programme FP9 – successor to the current Horizon 2020 – […]

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Bringing this website back to life – an update

Further to the brief comment yesterday concerning the state of my personal website, and pledge to sort it out in short(ish) order, I can announce that a new WordPress theme is already in place. To my mind it looks good on both desktop and mobile platforms – simple, easy on the eye, uncluttered. If you […]

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Bringing this website back to life

Last year, following a legal threat, I let this website fall into abeyance after first making the content invisible. There were and still are other problems with the site, most notably a self-coded WordPress theme that is to say the least stale and mobile-unfriendly. I must also admit to suffering from blogger’s block, with much […]

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Predicting chemical toxicity without animal testing

A study has just been published in the open-access journal Nature Communications which shows how predictions of chemical toxicity in humans can be made without animal testing. If the research results are confirmed, albeit with reference to toxicity tests using animal subjects, the cell-based models could lead to better, more ethical methods for testing the […]

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How much observed climate change is man-made?

That human activities influence global climate is beyond doubt, but the level of this anthropogenic contribution to climate change remains uncertain. In a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, Potsdam-based climate scientist Gerrit Hansen and her Berkeley Lab colleague Dáithí Stone present a systematic assessment of anthropogenic climate change for the range […]

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On climate change, nudge theory and the nanny-state

I have been approached by a hydra-headed PR agency working for an unnamed client which may or may not be a pseudo-libertarian climate-sceptic lobby group known as the Institute for Public Affairs. I say this, as an IPA statement on plain-packaging laws is linked to from the missive. In the message received today, it is […]

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Farewell to the Graphene Flagship

On 8 December 2015, I shall cease working for the University of Cambridge and Graphene Flagship. I will then return full-time to freelance journalism, science writing and related communications consultancy. It has been a pleasure working with materials scientists and others from across Europe, sharing with the public, policymakers, industrialists and other stakeholders the many […]

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