“The consequences of a widespread lack of trust in scientific authority can be very serious, from climate studies to immunology.” Photograph: John  Cairns/University of Oxford/AFP via Getty Images

The year 2020 will probably be remembered as the year of the dreadful Covid-19 virus, but it should also be remembered as a year of significant triump(...)

President Donald Trump takes off his face mask as he appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington in his first public event after he was hospitalised for Covid-19. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

It’s hard to believe that it’s only seven months since the novel coronavirus which causes Covid-19 first emerged. Quite apart from the tragic statisti(...)

World-renowned astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Two of Ireland’s most prominent scientists, Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Prof Luke O’Neill, are headlining a programme of events being hosted by(...)

A member of the cleaning staff  at Dublin Airport. The use of face masks is a remarkably efficient way of reducing contagion. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, I noted in my last column in April most governments around the world paid close attention to the advice (...)

Where the US might once have led the world in a time of crisis, the reaction of the Trump administration to Covid-19 has been farcical from the outset. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty

For scientists, environmentalists and others concerned with the issue of climate change, the Covid-19 crisis has provided many insights into the way o(...)

Greta Thunberg:  has science on her side. Photograph:  Frederic J Brown/AFP

“What’s your take on Greta Thunberg and her school strike?” a colleague asked me over lunch a few days ago. “Wouldn’t she and her followers be better (...)

It has taken three satellite experiments over two decades to accurately measure the cosmic microwave background, thousands of scientists have painstakingly built their careers on this endeavour and books have been written

We have one universe, but at present different determinations of its rate of expansion, which simply do not agree. This constitutes a puzzle, the reso(...)

The results of experiments performed during the solar eclipse in May 1919 transformed Albert Einstein overnight into an iconic figure of science. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

This week, one of the most famous experiments of 20th century science will be celebrated at an international conference in Paris. On May 29th, 1919, t(...)

“When were atoms first discovered?” I was recently asked. The question often comes up at this time of year, as our students embark on their first cour(...)

“Most scientists and historians would agree that Einstein’s quest was driven by scientific curiosity.” Photograph:  Getty Images)
Is science influenced by politics?

“Science is always political,” asserted a young delegate at an international conference on the history of physics earlier this month. It was a very en(...)

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