Science

Floss for fertility? Really?

As slogans go, the BBC News’s “Floss for Fertility” was definitely the catchiest. It was certainly more pleasing to the ear than alternatives such as “Brush Regularly to Get Pregnant” (as appeared in the Times of India) or “Women Who Want to Get Pregnant Need to Clean Their Teeth” (from […]

This week’s carcinogen: Your mobile phone

So it looks as though we are all going to die. Again. This time it’s our mobile phones that are going to kill us. And who says so? Well, exactly. As in, the WHO says so. In a news story that has captured the imagination of cancer obsessives around the […]

Talking science with Scibernia

I was recently interviewed by the folks over at Scibernia.ie, who produce an excellent bi-monthly podcast featuring science news, debate, and analysis. The interview was conducted by tech journalist (and “recovering philosopher“) Sylvia Leatham (@SylviaLeatham) after my recent public lecture for the Irish Skeptics Society. You can listen to the interview […]

When correlation does not imply “casualness”

Yesterday, the Daily Mail published a news story with the following headline: “Psychologists warn of ‘casual link’ between internet porn and rise in sex offences”. Hmm, a “casual link” you say? Really?! “Casual”? (Thank you to @EvidenceMatters and @decaux for pointing this out to me on Twitter.) Now, I guess this particular typo […]

A study not worth its salt?

This week’s news that researchers had apparently debunked the link between dietary salt intake and heart disease was surprising to say the least, but for all that it was lapped up enthusiastically by the media. Some headline writers revelled in the newness of the findings: “Scientists shake up what we […]

It’s true, college is a rat race

Earlier this week, a new paper by neuroscientists at Bristol University was covered across several media outlets. Very quickly, a common thread began to emerge through the headlines: “Stress can help when studying for exams” reported the Daily Telegraph; “Last-minute exam stress can actually help students to form stronger memories” […]