Trans and genderqueer scientists

16th July 2015

Transgender Pride flag

Many scientists used to think that there are only two genders, male and female, and that a person’s gender can be solely determined from their genitals. We now know that this is not the case. While a person’s sex can, by definition, be determined from their genitals, gender is much more complex than this. »

Robot Dreams

7th July 2015

Image created using Deep Dream

Last month, a team of software engineers working for Google released images created by programs designed for image recognition software. Image recognition software works by using artificial neural networks, which attempt to mimic neural networks in the brain. Information is input, artificial neurons process the image, and the identification is output. »

Neutron stars and extreme physics

1st July 2015

Artist’s impression of a neutron star with a magnetosphere that extends well beyond the neutron star’s radius.

Neutron stars are some of the most extreme objects in the universe, and so they can be used as ‘natural laboratories’ where we can observe matter behaving in ways we could never replicate on Earth. Neutron stars form when massive stars stop fusing matter. »

How to weigh objects in space

10th April 2015

Size comparison between the Sun (which is 1 pixel) and a massive star (which is too large to fully fit in the frame).

Everything with mass produces a gravitational field, which causes things to accelerate towards it. The gravity on the surface of the Earth is about 9.8 ms-2, which is often referred to as 1 g. This is just high enough to keep us from falling off the surface and drifting into space, but low enough to allow us to jump up and down. »

A Brief History of Comets

28th October 2014

Close-up of the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Comets have been documented for thousands of years, yet there's still a lot we don't know about them. We don't know what their surface is composed of, how thick their crust is, and how much frozen water is contained beneath. »

Science in Art

4th August 2014

Space debris orbiting Earth.

Scientists often utilise the same tools as artists to record or illustrate their ideas. They may create computer-generated images to use in academic papers, animations to show during presentations, or models to educate the public, and scientific organisations and agencies often employ artists to do this for them. »

Why science needs philosophy

9th June 2014

Map of Earth coloured to indicate the optical thickness of aerosols.

Science has a massive impact on everyone. How we teach it, and what we decide to fund, can literally have life and death consequences for millions of people. This means it's vital that everyone has a good understanding of what science is and how it affects them. »

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