May 11th, 2018 marks what would have been the hundredth birthday of theoretical physicist Richard Feynman. Many physicists name Feynman, who passed away in February 1988, as their primary inspiration in the field and science enthusiasts all over the world frequently quote Feynman’s wit and blunt wisdom. According to a poll of scientists conducted by Physics World in 1999, Feynman was amongst the top ten physicists sharing acclaim with Einstein, Galileo and Newton. But what is it about the man that captivates so many?
The Independent’s Facebook page has unleashed an unparalleled barrage of poor science reporting from the paper’s history onto its followers. The common thread of these articles is their sensational, attention-grabbing headlines and the poor understanding and interpretation of the studies at the heart of the reports. We take a look at three science reports shared in a recent 24 hour period.
Time-travel has long been a staple of genre films, novels and television shows, with many of these tales focusing on the consequences of travelling back in time and threatening one’s own existence. The ‘grandfather paradox’ is not simply a facet of pulp fiction though, it consequences of the violation of causality have been hotly debated philosophers and physicists alike. Could the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics rescue a hapless (and clumsy) time-traveller.
Author and journalist, Peter Hitchens, is possibly the most enigmatic and controversial public figure currently working in the corporate mainstream media today. Most noted for his six published books and his Mail on Sunday newspaper column. Beneath the surface, Hitchens displays worrying attitudes towards both women and homosexuals, as well as being an advocate of some deeply unscientific ideas such as climate-change denial and anti-vaccination rhetoric.
Labour member Jennifer James has been suspended by the party as a result of her campaign to exclude transgender females from all-women shortlists. But does this focus on identity politics do more harm than good at a time when the Labour party should be focused on consensus?
The Trump administration has handed the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) a list of seven ‘forbidden words’ that are not to be used in the organisation’s documentation and reports to Congress. This deeply worrying, almost Orwelian move, isn’t just an attack on science but the most vunerable groups in society.