Lucky dip

EUSci now has a fairly extensive archive of fascinating articles- use this page to show you a random selection.

Why I'm a writer, not a scientist

A scientist told me recently that nothing would ever convince him to leave science - it is, he claimed, the most exciting job in the world. He couldn't understand why, having completed undergraduate studies in biological sciences, I would have wanted to do anything else. When I admitted I had spent a brief spell in a lab and decided it wasn't for me - I quickly turned from research to reporting on it - it filled him with nothing but grief.

You see, since seeing my first article go into print three years ago, my childhood dream of becoming a writer has, to my astonishment, become a reality. When I embarked on my undergraduate degree in biology, I had pretty much resigned myself to a career in research. In fact, it didn’t occur to me until after my studies to use my scientific knowledge for any other purpose. Now I spend my days researching, writing and editing for magazines, websites, books and anything else that takes my fancy – being freelance, I have that privilege. Read more »

Khan Online Academy Change Science Education?

Salman Khan, an MIT and Harvard graduate, had been helping his young cousin Nadia with her maths homework over Yahoo! Messenger, but when they couldn’t be online at the same time he began making video tutorials. To check her understanding, he added software that would generate questions related to the tutorial topic. Only once she could correctly answer 10 problems in a row was she allowed to move on to the next topic. Read more »

What a copycat

Bowerbirds are best known for the construction and subsequent decoration of their elaborate bowers, which are used by males to attract mates.  But it is not so widely known that bowerbirds are also proficient mimics, typically mimicking over a dozen other species and environmental noises. Read more »

Bonk: the curious coupling of science and sex

Does a book called Bonk, a front cover featuring drawings of copulating couples and a fetching motif based on the tessellation of male gonads make for a voyeuristic read? The author Mary Roach certainly has an eye for the provocative, with a previous book entitled Stiff that looked at the sometimes controversial use of dead bodies in scientific studies. Bonk continues in the same vein, with chapters entitled “Dating the Penis Camera: Can women find happiness with a machine?”, and “The Upsuck Chronicles”, as well as an extensive discussion on the ontology of the G-spot (Listen to EUSci podcast episode 22 for the latest on the search). Read more »

Dr Hypothesis (Issue 9)

I recently neglected a packet of biscuits and they went all soft, but I believe when cakes go stale they go hard, I don’t actually know because I never let it happen... What’s the difference?

Biscuitless Betty Read more »