Coronavirus testing

I’m getting questions about Covid-19 testing and so another blog post aimed at the non-expert in way of explanation. Confusion appears to be coming from the fact there are two tests, one already being used and another about to be released. The one that is available at the time of writing tests for the virus,Continue reading “Coronavirus testing”

Media reporting and experts

We all have our political opinions but I have tried very hard to stay away from them on this blog, and this post is no exception. Nevertheless, I’m about to wander off the science and towards the media, so it’s bound to be somewhat opinionated – please forgive me. I’ll make one exception on theContinue reading “Media reporting and experts”

Covid-19 Vaccine

I thought a review for the non-expert on how vaccines come into being might be informative (footnote-1). I suspect there might also be some surprises. Reports in the press are appearing saying we’re on the brink of a coronavirus Vaccine. Is this true? Well, it all depends upon your definition of “brink” but there isContinue reading “Covid-19 Vaccine”

SARS-CoV-2 : the virus

I’ll say one thing for the coronavirus outbreak, it has prompted a lot of curiosity. Whether you believe we are going back to the days of the plague pit, or it’s nothing but a severe cold, I have been asked a lot of questions about viruses in general and the coronavirus in particular. I’m notContinue reading “SARS-CoV-2 : the virus”

Cobras and pencil stubs – be careful what you wish for

Here in the UK we are in the conference season, when political parties get together to tell the faithful what they intend to do if they get into government. Not being a political blog, I’m not commenting on proposed tax cuts, or increases in government spending, or public schools,* or homelessness, or anything else, butContinue reading “Cobras and pencil stubs – be careful what you wish for”

Luminous toothpaste

Imagine my delight when I discovered a toothpaste that promised luminous teeth. I imagined lighting my way at night with a glowing smile, or even having British teeth brighter than those in the United States. Of course, I’m not so gullible to take this literally and can spot marketing hyperbole when I see it. Nevertheless,Continue reading “Luminous toothpaste”

Is Science Popular?

Scientists often despair at the general lack of scientific understanding by the general public. And to be fair, that understanding is not brilliant, evidenced by regular surveys. I have summarised a snapshot of a series of surveys from across the world below to illustrate the point. Percentage of people getting the right answer to aContinue reading “Is Science Popular?”

… damn lies and statistics

The saying, “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” is attributed to Mark Twain but may have originated from Benjamin Disraeli. It’s one of those phrases that has been misquoted more times than I can remember because in truth statistics is a branch of mathematics essential to understanding the world. StatisticsContinue reading “… damn lies and statistics”

Old in a young age

The stereotype of people of my age is someone who, when asked to press “any key” on the computer, asks, “where’s the anykey”. I’m not like that. Although my children might smile when I claim to be technically savvy, I like technology and I’m generally the antithesis of a Luddite. Just recently, for example IContinue reading “Old in a young age”