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Patrick LockerbyRSS Feed of this column.

Retired engineer, 71 years young. Computer builder and programmer. Linguist specialising in language acquisition and computational linguistics. Interested in every human endeavour except the scrooge... Read More »

The True Coin of Science

There is a way of 'doing science' which has long stood the test of time.  It doesn't matter how many people support a theory, or how eminent they may be.  Nullius in verba - take nobody's word as truth.

Nor is experimental 'proof' to be trusted, since the search for proof predisposes one to seek verification and validation of one's own biased view.  Experimental disproof is the key.  It takes only one well-conducted experiment to prove that a long held belief is false.

Robert Boyle explained this idea of experimental disproof in terms of coins, which in his day were of gold or silver.
Stephen Hales - Climate Science Pioneer

#3 in a series

Stephen Hales (1677-1761) was a clergyman who devoted much of his time to scientific pursuits, especially in conducting experiments in plant physiology.

His most important work, Vegetable Staticks (published in 1727), was in plant physiology. 
Something is wrong in the Arctic

It has long been predicted that as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere climbs, so too will the average global temperature, with the greatest temperature increases being seen at the poles.  This year, the polar amplification effect is in full swing, with exceptional global losses of sea ice.
Sea ice hits record lows
Why Science is Worth Studying.

Excerpts from a very good book -

Rustic sounds and other studies in literature and natural history
by Sir Francis Darwin,  1917

I found this book by Sir Francis Darwin to be both an absorbing and easy read.  Good science combines well with light humour, and Sir Francis Darwin achieves this combination in a masterly fashion.

The reference to 'boys' reflects the times of Sir Francis Darwin: it should now be read as 'boys and girls', of course.

I think that we all, who study science, hope to be the first to discover some exciting new fact -

Russian scientists increase DVD storage capacity million times

John Mayow - Climate Science Pioneer

#2 in a series.

Sir William Ramsay wrote an excellent history of the study of our atmosphere.  Below is the part of his book concerning John Mayow.  The previous part was about Robert Boyle.  The text courtesy is error-checked for typos.