Wot I lernt in New Scientist #2633

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Issue 2633I get New Scientist every week but every so often I get out of the habit of reading. Unread issues start to pile up and I get guilty that all that knowledge is going to waste.

So, partly as a way of getting me in the habit of reading it again, partly as an aide memoire and partly as a way of encouraging people to read about science, I’m starting this weekly summary of what I’ve read.

This week:

  • Two studies suggest that life originally evolved thanks to quantum mechanics. Hmmm… sounds a bit mystical to me.
  • 2.37 trillion litres of water could have been saved in the US alone if people didn’t divorce. Try solving that one.
  • The health risks associated with egg donation for theraputic cloning research are unethical and unnecessary according to Jennifer Swift.
  • Solar power is on the verge of becoming economical. If only we adopted a tariff system like Germany’s to encourage supply…
  • Thanks to new research, the discredited example of evolution in action in which it was shown that pepper moths evolved darker colouration as a result of the industrial revolution could be reclaimed for science.
  • An interview with Pakistani scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy about democracy, Pakistan’s decision to go nuclear and how Musharraf has got higher education funding wrong. Physics departments where the head is unable to solve A-level phyisics problems? Sheesh!
  • Chris Mooney reviews Andrew Szasz’s Shopping Our Way to Safety which critiques the idea that consumerism can solve problems such as climate change.
  • A.C. Grayling kicks off his new column by attacking the notion that science “rests on faith“.
  • In Feedback an amusing story about how Rush Lumbaugh was hoaxed into promoting climate change denial research which turned out to be less than meets the eye…

… and lots more! Get your own copy!

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