Science

Towards a quantum Theory of Everything (including dirty dishes)

Perhaps few words in contemporary science have been abused as much as “quantum”. Simply put, a quantum is the minimum amount of an entity that can actually do anything. One example is a photon, which is the minimum amount of light that can be involved in an electromagnetic interaction. The […]

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 […]

Alcohol causes cancer? If you assume so, yes

Last week, a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) linked alcohol consumption with cancer risk, and duly attracted extensive international media coverage. News outlets around the world keenly reported on the carcinogenic properties of alcohol. This description from BBC News was pretty typical: “A large Europe-wide study in the […]

A fishy tale: Omega-3, Alzheimer’s, and IQ

The Irish Times’s tolerance for pseudoscientific health claims has been discussed here before. This week, as if responding to an impulse, the Times again published a controversial health story under the guise of grassroots health activism. On this occasion, the Times are promoting the claim that omega-3 fish oils have […]