Here are my favourite posts -- i.e., those that make me cringe least when I re-read them. There is no particular order. If you have a great suggestion for putting them in order, let me know.


The closest I've come to saying what this blog is about.


The dream of academia

How to get your name on a paper

On "Scientific Expertise", or "Failing to cause trouble"

On being too scared to argue with stupid people:

And why I don't want to waste my time arguing about...
Religion and Climate Change

But I will anyway, in an intellectual roller-coaster of posts that will send you whooping and screaming through the importance of scepticism, the power of scientific predictions, and the nature of expertise. And Clive James.
1. The E.M. Forster of climate change
2. On Clive James
3. Postcard from delusion
4. Fantastically irresponsible
5. The Hannam Effect
6. Climategate: the vindication of science
7. My expert prediction
8. Free thinkers, blind sheep, and bloodletting

Unfortunately, having started idealistically with an invocation of E.M. Forster, I end up with a nightmare straight out of Kafka:
Nightmare scenario

Clive James Retraction Watch:
Two years later
Three years later

Arguing scientific expertise with Harry Collins at The Hay Festival

A rant: scientific expertise and John Horgan

A final, definitive post on Scientific Expertise: The Feynman Fallacy

Entertained by Controversy

Free speech, transphobia, and 9/11 as God's wrath, starring Germain Greer

Alice Dreger's "Gallileo's Middle Finger"

A rant: the non-controversy of gravitational-wave detection

Almost actually about science

Some light history of black holes

Three pieces in aid of telling just one story, about Einstein being wrong.
1. Explanations
2. Houdini Hannam's Grand Gravity Illusion
3. Einstein

Einstein reappeared for the 100th anniversary of the general theory of relativity in 2015.
In January I was dubious, but by March I gave in to the temptation to try to explain curved spacetime, and by the true centenary in November I was thoroughly overcome with emotion.

In the cause of science

1. A watertight case to fund pure research
2. What's wrong with science seminars, and
3. How to fix them



The Martian.

Doctor Who (And links therein.)

War and Peace (on the BBC)

Alice Dreger's "Gallileo's Middle Finger"

Janna Levin's "Black Hole Blues"

Brian Keating's "Losing the Nobel Prize"

The Theory of Everything (the Hawking film)
A Brief History of Time (the Hawking book)
A Brief History of Time (the better Hawking film)

Errol Morris's 2017 Netflix series Wormwood.

Yes, I got hooked on the films of Errol Morris, and his obsession with Truth. Leading to...

Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions"
Errol Morris's critique thereof, "The Ashtray"

The big discovery of 2015: GRAVITATIONAL WAVES!
February, 2016:
The first detection
How it Felt
How We Squeezed Out the Juicy Science

March, 2016:
Trying to Explain Gravitational Waves (Part I) (Part II)

June, 2016:
Book Review: Black Hole Blues
Detection Number 2 -- Black Holes Rule
Rumours, Secrets and Other Sounds of Gravitational Waves

February, 2017: 

June, 2017:

September 2017:

October 2017:

Plus my own Adventures in Real Science Fiction.

... and if you don't like any of this, and want to see something truly funny, try John Clarke.

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