Irish Independent

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 […]

‘Psychology of Christmas’ media round-up

So this is Christmas; and what have you done? Well, this is what I’ve done: a whole lot of media, surrounding my public lecture on ‘The Psychology of Christmas‘ just the other week. Turns out lots of people are interested in Christmas. Who knew? I’ve made a list (I’ve even […]

What ‘Science By Press Conference’ looks like

Exhibit A: 1989 and Pons and Fleischmann announce cold fusion — an “inexhaustible source of energy” — at a press briefing in Utah, before they had applied for patents or published their technology. Too bad they were just plain wrong. I bet they feel embarrassed now. Exhibit B: 2002 and five-word […]

‘Miracle’ cure removes cancer, HIV, autism. By killing you

Hat tip to c*nty_mc_sh*tb*lls over on Reddit for this one. Irish patients warned ‘miracle cure’ from US church is bleach A CONTROVERSIAL American Church which is coming to Ireland this weekend is promising a “miracle” cure for patients – but it is, in fact, industrial-strength bleach…On its website it is […]

Is there actually evidence for anti-ageing creams?

Here is a short piece I wrote for Tuesday’s Irish Independent. It was part of their ‘Science For Life’ supplement (not available online), in which scientists provide answers to “some of life’s big questions“. I was asked to respond to a question raised by current affairs broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan (@miriamocal), who […]

Water on the brain

It’s coming up to that time of year again (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least). The daylight creeps longer into the evening hours, leaves on tree and shrub begin to glow in clouds of verdant splendour, migrating birds return to seek climactic asylum in our precinct of the ecosystem…and the […]