Politics

Seven billion Earthlings: So what’s the problem?

Typically, I get uncomfortable when I’m in the presence of more than, say, five other people. Therefore, you might expect me to be particularly perturbed by reports that the world’s population reached seven billion people earlier today, 31 October 2011. Such reports do perturb me, but not because I’m worried about […]

Big fat liars

UK newspaper, The Sun, is no stranger to controversy. Indeed, as part of News Corporation, it is currently mired in the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed its now killed-off sister paper, The News of the World. (The sheer speed of developments prevents me from summarizing that scandal here, but regular updates are […]

Politico.ie covers “The Babel Fish”

Following up on last week’s Irish Skeptics Society lecture on science communication, journalist John Holden filed a report on the Irish politics and current affairs website, Politico.ie. As part of his analysis, Holden notes that: “In the Irish media there is still only one page per week devoted to ‘hard science’ […]

The Babel Fish Dilemma: Talking Science with Non-Scientists

Last night I gave a public lecture in Dublin for the Irish Skeptics Society, entitled “The Babel Fish Dilemma: Talking Science with Non-Scientists“. The Irish Skeptics, under the leadership of psychologists Paul O’Donoghue and Nóirín Buckley, have been organizing a public lecture series on science engagement, critical thinking, and skepticism […]

Right-wingers are better looking, study doesn’t show

Last week, the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) issued a press release with the title, “Rightwing candidates are better looking, says study”. The item described a study conducted by Swedish and Finnish economists in which 2,500 non-Finns rated 1,357 Finnish election candidates for attractiveness. The authors identified two main conclusions. […]

Do polling locations influence election outcomes?

In times of economic and political turmoil, people increasingly turn their attention to how their societies are governed. As a result, it seems as though matters relating to elections and electoral processes are permanently in the public spotlight. Globally, over 80 national elections or civil ballots are scheduled to take place […]