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Women and Authority

A recent article by Nury Vittachi, Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s...

Carbon, Oxygen, And Stars

Recently this headline on Real Clear Science caught my eye: Carbon-12 Nucleus Shaped Like Equilateral...

A Tale of Two Phobias

For some time now in Britain, our “great and good” have been belabouring the more conservative...

Cosmos — The View From Here

I have seen creeping into recent discussions of the TV show ‘Cosmos’ the idea that we scientists...

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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I like stirring, so here is this recent University Press Release (27 January 2009):

'Censoring' language is key to female survival in the boardroom

New research from the University of Reading argues that women leaders have to be language experts to survive the rigours of the boardroom.

Women learn to censor their language to be accepted by their male colleagues but the effort for some could be too much, and is part of the reason why women remain seriously under-represented in UK boardrooms.

Yours truly has been watching telly again!  (I hope no-one will get the idea that the couch potato might be a significant source of starch.) 

This time, on our local BBC news service, we hear how researchers at the University of Portsmouth Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science are cooperating with their Institute of Marine Sciences to harness the Gribble.  
I read this in today's Daily Telegraph:

Campaigns to protect native species 'are racist'

In a Times News Review interview, Marcus du Sautoy, our new Oxford University Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, says:
I became a mathematician and not a scientist because science often goes wrong .... You do an experiment 100 times and you get the same result. You do it for the 101st time and something different happens. No one would be my lab partner at school because all my experiments went wrong. Maybe I’m a bad choice for this job.
I have watched two so far of a BBC2 TV series The City Uncovered with Evan Davis, of which the three parts are:
  1. Banks and How to Break Them: Evan returns to first principles, and explains exactly how a bank is supposed to work. (R)
  2. Tricks with Risk: In the second of his series of documentaries on modern finance, Evan Davis heads into the world of the City's risk professionals – the derivatives whizzkids, and hedge fund managers.
  3. When Markets Go Mad: Evan Davis looks at the roots of the current crisis.
Dengue fever is a nasty disease found all over the tropics, with names like break-bone fever referring to the severity of the pain it causes.  It is carried mostly by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, but also by related species.  I have just read three reports on the BBC science site of techniques aimed at controlling the fever by attacking the mosquito in its sex life.