James Joseph Sylvester, like many brilliant young people today, had difficulty finding a suitable position

James Joseph Sylvester was born in London to Jewish parents in 1814 on this day 201 years ago. The family name was Joseph but, for reasons unclear,(...)

Inclement: Boole loved everything about Cork except the weather, which ended up killing him – getting caught in a storm led to pneumonia – when he was 49, in 1864. Wood engraving photographed by Ann Ronan/Print Collector/Getty
George Boole: generous genius

George Boole, one of the world’s greatest mathematicians, is the embodiment of the self-made man. Although it has been claimed that he was the inspira(...)

‘Governments don’t feel compelled to invest in a problem over which there is considerable apathy.’ Photograph: Getty Images

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the cost of obesity to the UK National Health Service problem equals the combined costs of the entire poli(...)

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker decided after taking office that the commission no longer needed a chief scientific adviser. Photograph: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Scientists are sticklers for evidence. They start with a theory, an assumption about why something is so, but then like to conduct experiments to c(...)

The data showed the total number of calls made by individuals who had recently lost their jobs dropped by 51 per cent following their layoffs

US data researchers have shown how mobile-phone data can be used to “quickly and accurately detect, track and predict changes in the economy at mul(...)

Recent data up to 2012 show improvements in racehorse speeds are continuing, largely driven by speeds of sprinters particularly at elite level. File photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

A new study contends racehorses are gradually getting faster, despite views to the contrary held by the racing industry. It also shows the greatest i(...)

‘I don’t believe for a moment that Tim Hunt’s remarks were “harmful” or “injurious” to women, or desperately off-putting to girls considering Stem (non-medical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers.’ Above, Tim Hunt, who resigned from University College London  after his comments about the “trouble with girls” involved in science sparked an outcry. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

How should we punish old men who make sexist jokes? Judging by the case of Tim Hunt, very severely indeed. No mercy shall be shown. The 72-year-old Br(...)

Prof Richard Wool, who has died aged 67, emigrated to the United States after graduating from UCC in l969 and went on to become an internationally ren(...)

The disputed wind farm projects are the largest planned to date in Europe in close proximity to major seabird colonies

A planned £1.5 billion (€2.1 billion) offshore wind development by Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power will be challenged in a Scottish court thi(...)

William Parsons  discerned the spiral structure of the M51 nebula, which the Hubble space telescope has photographed the nebula in detail (above). Photograph: ESA/Hubble

In March and April 1845 William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, together with his collaborators, made the greatest scientific discovery in the history (...)