Newspapers & Magazines

Of course there is no monster in Loch Ness (despite what the university’s Press Office might want you to believe)

Yesterday, we had lots of news headlines concerning the Loch Ness monster, proving that the silly season is still a thing. (After all, it’s not as though there is actually anything important going on in the world right now.) Virtually all the headlines focused on the same catchy notion: It […]

Post-Covid syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and the recurring pseudoscience of mass hysteria

The people who want you to think that everything is “all in your mind” are back, their schtick now revised and updated for a COVID-19 world. Here’s the Daily Telegraph: Some local coronavirus outbreaks could be ‘mass hysteria’, Joint Biosecurity Centre warns Some local coronavirus outbreaks may just be mass hysteria, […]

Covid-19, Psychology, and the Politics of Life-and-Death Science

[This article appeared in the June 2020 issue of the ‘Irish Psychologist’] As we all know by now, contagion is a matter of behaviour as well as biology. What we do, where we go, and how we think can all help to suppress the invisible enemy. Handwashing is back in […]

On “celebratory racism”

Social controversies are frequently seized upon by bigots. In Britain, for example, the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum saw a sharp increase in racist incidents, with reports of people being harassed on the street, jeered at in shops, and barracked at passport control in airports. There is even a […]

I guess some core competencies are just more core than others

From the letters page of The Economist: A bridge too far Bartleby has an unerring ability to detect the nonsense emanating from HR (July 13th). At my job operating a drawbridge I am expected to set performance goals relating to “core competencies.” These include building relationships, oriented outcomes, creativity and innovation. Curiously, […]