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. »

A Brief History of Cloning

27th April 2014

Colour photograph showing cells dividing.

Earlier this month, scientists in South Korea and the United States announced that they had cloned a human embryo, which could have developed into a foetus if it had been implanted into a surrogate mother. Cloning is the process of producing genetically identical individuals. This happens naturally in all asexual reproduction and in sexual reproduction when identical siblings are born. »

Creationism and Science

16th February 2014

Stained glass window, with text: ‘Is not God in the height of heaven?’.

Earlier this month, science educator Bill Nye debated young-Earth creationist Ken Ham on the topic of whether the literal interpretation of Genesis is a viable model for the origin of the universe. At first glance, this debate may seem strange and pointless, Ham is free to believe whatever he wants, as everyone should be, and science and religion are not in obvious conflict. »

Be X-ray binaries and the super-magnetic universe

8th December 2013

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

For the last two years, I have been researching neutron stars at the University of Southampton, supervised by Professor Malcolm Coe and Dr Wynn Ho, and we have recently made a surprising discovery. Neutron stars are the most magnetic objects in the universe, with some having magnetic fields so high that quantum behaviour comes into effect. »

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