Christmas: It’s that visceral call to the senses, the light that guides us back, whatever the cost or the stress.

It’s a conundrum. In boom times, the media are accused of “talking down” the economy. In bad times, they are attacked as relentless purveyors of bad n(...)

From left, Joe Humphreys chairing the Unthinkable debate, with Cathy Barry, Kevin Mitchell, Siobhán Garrigan and William Reville. Photograph: Alan Betson

Unthinkable took to the road this month for a debate, “Are science and religion really in conflict?” Who won? Was there a knock-down argument t(...)

Lotteries: could be used to keep ‘bad reasons’ out of decision-making

Making decisions by lottery is often seen as an affront to justice. Witness, for example, the furore over the Camogie Association’s plan to settle (...)

Teaching in the 21st century is not just about the imparting of knowledge. It is the challenging and complex task of teaching learners to form questions of their own

A response to Dr William Reville: Dr William Reville has expressed his concerns regarding modern teaching methods (Click here to read “Beware o(...)

‘They are the ones most affected by cutbacks in resources, or services such as guidance counselling. Yet the Government continues to deny the effects of such cutbacks.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The current debate about the Junior Cert conceals a far deeper problem. We have not had a serious public discussion about the aims of education. It us(...)

The simple message of Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary Super Size Me is wrong

There is a widespread belief that eating fast food (eg hamburger, fries and Coke meals) is intrinsically bad for your health and is a sure path to (...)

Philosophers will tend to steer clear of ideology. Heidegger, who was identified with Nazism, is an exception to this rule. Photograph: Apic/Getty Images)

William Reville (Irish Times January 16th) wonders why there hasn’t been a storm of protest from philosophers over Steven Hawkings’s recently expresse(...)

Richard Dawkins: according to him, belief in God is childishly unreasonable. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

The modern world runs on science-based technology, and nobody seriously disputes the importance of science. This importance has tempted many eminent s(...)

Lung cancer is the major but not the only ill-effect of smoking cigarettes. Cancer Research UK cites smoking cigarettes as causing 83 per cent of lung(...)

There is a popular tendency to 
demonise fast food and sugary drinks as the major contributors to

The simple thermodynamic conclusion that weight gain, leading to obesity, results from consistently ingesting more food calories than are burned off i(...)