Category Archives: Science

The Circular Economy

Whatever your feelings about the European Union, it’s undeniable that the bloc is good at setting ambitious targets. Many of these are definitely good ideas, but meeting the goals is generally less successful. In this sense, the Commission appears to … Continue reading

Posted in Biotechnology, Newsletter, Policymaking, Progress, Science | Leave a comment

Here’s to Elon Musk

Last week, I mentioned Elon Musk’s deep pessimism about the impact of artificial intelligence on the human race. I don’t share that pessimism, but it seems to be one of the key motivators of this driven, innovative and (so-far) very … Continue reading

Posted in AI, Climate change, Energy, Newsletter, Science, Transport | 1 Comment

Artificial Intelligence: blessing or curse?

For decades, writers and film makers have imagined a world in which computers and robots have advanced to the stage where they are, at least in some respects, more capable than their creators. Science fiction allows us to explore both … Continue reading

Posted in AI, Newsletter, Science | Leave a comment

Certainty breeds intolerance

Certainty is usually thought of as a virtue, and we often regard those who lack firm views on an issue as indecisive or weak. In fact, it can be a mixed blessing, with a refusal to change position sometimes leading … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Energy, Newsletter, Nuclear energy, Science | Leave a comment

What has science ever done for us?

With apologies to Monty Python, this seems like as good a title as any for what I have to say this week, prompted by an essay on the BBC website by Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, current president of the Royal Society … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Food and agriculture, Newsletter, Pollution, Precaution, Science | Leave a comment

Acceptable opinions

Last week, I wrote about the apparent lack of balance in the present EU review of the ubiquitous weedkiller, glyphosate (Double standards in safety assessments). On one hand, MEPs showed themselves only too willing to be swayed by what they … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Food and agriculture, Newsletter, Policymaking, Science | Leave a comment

Double standards in safety assessments

Two years ago, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an advisory body to the World Health Agency, published an apparently damning report on glyphosate, one of the most widely-used herbicides around the world, and marketed by Monsanto under … Continue reading

Posted in Food and agriculture, Newsletter, Policymaking, Science | Leave a comment