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Whale Or Dinosaur At The Natural History Museum?

News that will disappoint loads of children:...

Binary Gender — Mud across the Atlantic

I have recently been enjoying a bit of cross-Atlantic mud-slinging with some of our most prolific...

Dance of the Planets

Yesterday (8th) I took this photograph of Venus and Mercury from the grounds of Reading University...

Brain like a Jelly?

A news release from Heidelberg, In Search of the Origin of Our Brain, treats us to these two picture...

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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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In the 19th century, following the Enlightenment, the process of secularization seemed to be on a slow but unstoppable roll.  One consequence of this was the development of a view of history, whereby religion in general, Christianity in particular, and above all the Roman Catholic church, assumed the rôle of the enemy of all progress, and progress was by definition good.  Clerics were pictured as Asuras (in Hindu epic titanic beings perpetually at war with the Devas or gods) always opposing the scientists with their own Clerisy.

Sir Archibald Henry Bodkin, KCB (1862–1957) was our British Director of Public Prosecutions from 1920 to 1930.  He particularly took a stand against the publication of what he saw as ‘obscene’ literature.

What with all the current talk of GMOs, I would remind folks here that some 20th century methods also raised fears.  A more “traditional” method has been to double the chromosome content of plants — one well known example is Triticale is the hybrid of wheat (Triticum turgidum) and rye (Secale cereale).  This, of course, should be familiar to those who remember the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”.  When crossing wheat and rye, wheat is used as the female parent and rye as the male parent (pollen

Forever Now

Forever Now

Jun 04 2013 | 2 comment(s)

So it was that in the summer of 1988 I discovered America.


Now doesn’t that sound like a very ‘arty’ sort of statement?  It comes from Forever Today by Deborah Wearing, and though the lady herself has a musical background, there are parts of this book which should be of great interest to Science 2.0 readers.  To give the context, here is the start of the book description.