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Richard MankiewiczRSS Feed of this column.

I used to be lots of things, but all people see now is a red man. The universe has gifted me a rare autoimmune skin condition known as erythroderma, or exfoliative dermatitis. The idiopathic version... Read More »

Welcome To The Science Party

Today, 20 April, sees the launch of The Science Party, a new political party led by bestselling author and New Scientist consultant Dr Michael Brooks. Brooks is standing for the party in the forthcoming British general election in the East Midlands constituency of Bosworth.

Brooks launched The Science Party, whose slogan is “Because Science Matters”, at a Skeptics event in Leicester on Tuesday evening.
"An intellectual is someone who, sitting opposite a very attractive person on the train, still looks first at what book they're reading."

Thanks to Jack of Kent tweet.

If you live in London, then you could do worse than join a Westminster Skeptics night out getting paralytic about science.

Westminster Skeptics promote an evidence-based approach and critical thinking in the areas of policy, media, and legal reform. They have packed and lively meetings once or twice a month in a big pub in Westminster, just by St James Tube station.
"Airplanes do not "fly"! They are held aloft through the divine intervention of heavenly angels!"
"I'll notify the Texas Board of Education at once!"

I wonder whether such dark levity is the last refuge of an intelligence that has seen the future, and that future has no need of it. Has anybody seen the film Idiocracy?

by Tom Tomorrow at Salon.com.

Enjoy... if that's the right word.
As I start to write this I can hear two helicopters passing overhead. I live in a small road just 5 minutes walk from one of Bangkok's major traffic clots, Victory Monument. Sometimes, writing about science has to give way to the business of staying alive. Bangkok has been under a state of emergency for three days and the situation is worsening. My wife is on her way to her village, some 300 km away, and she has told me that the outskirts of Bangkok are filled with tanks and armoured vehicles. I have decided to stay put as communication links are better here.
The United States and Russia are scheduled to sign a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) this Thursday in Prague. The previous treaty expired on 5 December 2009, making the absence of any treaty potentially more dangerous than signing one designed to be little more than face-saving. The Russians see it as a return to superpower status; the Americans have left open their development of a missile defence shield, thereby handing the Russians a reason to rip up the whole deal. We're back to the good old days!