On December 26th, 2004 the 22 Nicobar Islands were hit by waves over 15m high. Entire villages were washed into the sea and 3,449 people were officially reported dead or missing. Photograph: Reuters/Punit Paranjpe

We have seen the scenario many times: TV news reports a natural disaster in a remote area and the humanitarian aid is marshalled to alleviate the cris(...)

The farmers would have viewed their farming culture as superior to that of the hunter-gatherers and would discriminate against hunter-gatherers in the social hierarchy

When farmers migrated from the Middle East into Europe about 9,000 years ago they encountered indigenous European hunter-gatherers with whom they firs(...)

Subjects report that the experience is not dream-like, but feels ‘realer than real’. Photograph: Getty

Near death experience (NDE) is precipitated by life-threatening experiences such as heart attack, blunt trauma, shock, asphyxia and so on. The phenome(...)

Galileo Galilei’s signature is seen on a document displayed during the exhibition “Lux in Arcana, the Vatican secret Archives reveals itself” at the Capitoline Museums in Rome in 2012. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

The 1633 trial of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) before the Roman Inquisition is frequently cited to demonstrate that science and the Catholic Church are(...)

A 17th  century representation of the world system of Copernicus), father of modern astronomy. Photograph:   Time Life Pictures/Mansell/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

You all know the story, frequently recounted to the present day. Following the fall of Rome (476AD), Europe entered the Dark Ages (476 to 1453), a Cat(...)

Pavlov sounded a metronome as he gave a dog food. After a while the dog salivated on hearing the metronome, even when no food was present. Photograph: Nick Vedros/Image Bank

We are approaching the 171st anniversary (September 26th) of the birth of famous Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936). Pavlov did pi(...)

Schematic of the central region of a black hole showing infalling material (yellow) and a powerful jet of outflowing material (white). From Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Physics, the most fundamental branch of science, has two main theories – quantum mechanics and general relativity. Quantum mechanics explains the very(...)

A “designer baby” is a baby whose genetic make-up has been selected or engineered to ensure certain traits are present and/or to eliminate particular (...)

Thousands of people marched in anti-government protests in Budapest in 2018 over limits on academic freedom under Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist government. Photograph: Marko Drobnjakovic/AP.

Academic freedom is essential to the university’s mission of discovering new knowledge and teaching existing knowledge to students. It is unfortunatel(...)

Tony McGrath (76) cocooning at his home in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photograph: Fran Veale

As we start to move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, critical reviews will begin of how the crisis was handled. Today I concentrate on the Government’s p(...)

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