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,(...)

Prof Gary McGuire, foreground, and the bellringers at Christ Church Cathedral 2:43

Long perplexed by the melodic pandemonium of church bells, I follow bell ringer Ken Hartnett through a little door in the side of Christ Church Cat(...)

Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

The life of Pythagoras is shrouded in myth and legend. He was born on the island of Samos and travelled to Egypt, Mesopotamia and possibly India befor(...)

A cancer cell: Systems Biology Ireland is designing new therapeutic approaches based on a systems-level, mechanistic understanding of cellular networks

Once upon a time, biology meant zoology and botany, the study of animals and plants. The invention of the microscope shifted the emphasis to the le(...)

Sir William Rowan Hamilton (1805-1865), an Irish mathematician and inventor of quarternions. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The power of mathematics is astonishing. Time and again, mathematical theories developed without any application in mind have later proved ideal for s(...)