On time, and turning 30

It was recently my birthday. I turned 30. The celebrations were muted – if at all – because there’s something of a moment when you exit the tweens, and the first digit of your age changes from 2 to 3. On that day, it seemed more pertinent than ever to think of the occasion asContinue reading “On time, and turning 30”

Nobel Prizes and traditionalism

James English had a wonderful piece in Public Books recently, discussing how the Nobel Prize for literature: Is a prize that has always struggled to be meaningful, given how its laureates are shortlisted, the capital that incentivises its exercise and the historical Eurocentric elitism of its adjudicators Had been irreversibly diminished by the controversies surrounding Jean-Claude Arnault andContinue reading “Nobel Prizes and traditionalism”

Why physical networks aren’t like their on-paper counterparts

At first glance, this tweets appears to state something obvious: Of course the three-dimensional arrangement of links and nodes, and the space they occupy, influences the ultimate form of the network. But being a tweet, it doesn’t capture a pivotal detail in the paper: the scientists who authored it aren’t talking about the length ofContinue reading “Why physical networks aren’t like their on-paper counterparts”

On cosmology’s scicomm disaster

Jamie Farnes, a theoretical physicist at Oxford University, recently had a paper published that claimed the effects of dark matter and dark energy could be explained by replacing them with a fluid-like substance that was created spontaneously, had negative mass and disobeyed the general theory of relativity. As fantastic as these claims are, Farnes’s paper made theContinue reading “On cosmology’s scicomm disaster”