Getting ahead of theory, experiment, ourselves

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Science journalist Laura Spinney wrote an article in The Guardian on January 9, 2022, entitled ‘Are we witnessing the dawn of post-theory science?’. This excerpt from the article captures its points well, I thought: Or take protein structures. A protein’s function is largely determined by its structure, so if you want to design a drug that blocks or…… Continue reading Getting ahead of theory, experiment, ourselves

All the science in ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’

I watched The Cloverfield Paradox last night, the horror film that Paramount pictures had dumped with Netflix and which was then released by Netflix on February 4. It’s a dumb production: unlike H.R. Giger’s existential, visceral horrors that I so admire, The Cloverfield Paradox is all about things going bump in the dark. But what…… Continue reading All the science in ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’

Some notes on empiricism, etc.

The Wire published a story about the ‘atoms of Acharya Kanad’ (background here; tl;dr: Folks at a university in Gujarat claimed an ancient Indian sage had put forth the theory of atoms centuries before John Dalton showed up). The story in question was by a professor of philosophy at IISER, Mohali, and he makes a solid…… Continue reading Some notes on empiricism, etc.

The intricacies of being sold on string theory

If you are seeking an appreciation for the techniques of string theory, then Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe could be an optional supplement. If, on the other hand, you want to explore the epistemological backdrop against which string theory proclaimed its aesthetic vigor, then the book is a must-read. As the title implies, it discusses the…… Continue reading The intricacies of being sold on string theory

‘No string theorists in non-elite institutions’

Shiraz Naval Minwalla, a professor of theoretical physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, won the New Horizons in Physics Prize for 2013 on November 5. The prize – which recognizes ‘promising researchers’ and comes with a cash prize of $100,000 – is awarded by the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation, set up…… Continue reading ‘No string theorists in non-elite institutions’