Author Archives: ...and Then There's Physics

Some reflections on lecturing during a pandemic

I noticed, via Twitter, that a colleague had written an interesting post about survival strategies for lecturers [Edit: I hadn’t appreciated that this had been written pre-pandemic, but it is what largely motivated my post]. I had been thinking about … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, physicists, Science, Universities | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Climate change doesn’t work like that

A couple of years ago I wrote a post where I tried to explain why I thought climate change was a different kind of problem when compared to most of the other issues we might face today. I find it … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Environmental change, ethics, Policy, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 67 Comments

A little domain knowledge can go a long way

A rather bizarre paper has been published in Scientific Reports (yes, that Scientific Reports) claiming that [an] earth system model shows self-sustained melting of permafrost even if all man-made GHG emissions stop in 2020. One immediate problem is that the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Global warming, The philosophy of science, The scientific method, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Namecalling in science

A couple of days ago, I retweeted an article with the title [t]he trouble with ‘Covid denialism’. I thought the article was reasonable, but some objected to the use of ‘denialism’. There are a number of very credible scientists who … Continue reading

Posted in ClimateBall, Personal, Philosophy for Bloggers, The scientific method, We Are Science | Tagged , , , | 170 Comments

Policy in the language of science

I was listening to the a Received Wisdom podcast. It’s a podcast by Shobita Parthasarathy and Jack Stilgoe, which I have written about before. At the beginning of the podcast, the hosts were discussing the Great Barrington Declaration, and Jack … Continue reading

Posted in Policy, Politics, Science, Scientists | Tagged , , , , | 77 Comments

Honest brokering

I thought I might follow up on my previous post, with a brief discussion of an article by Sonia Sodha called [t]he anti-lockdown scientists’ cause would be more persuasive if it weren’t so half-baked. I found it interesting partly because … Continue reading

Posted in advocacy, Climate change, ClimateBall, Roger Pielke Jr, Scientists | Tagged , , , , , | 86 Comments

The long-term CovidSim predictions from Report 9

A group of us have just had a paper published in The British Medical Journal on the effect of school closures on mortality from the coronavirus disease. The coverage has been rather unfortunate, as it is being interpreted as supporting … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Scientists, The scientific method | Tagged , , , , , | 202 Comments

Understanding methane

There was a recent Conversation article about methane called Climate explained: methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage that caused a bit of a stir on Twitter. One way people assess the significance of different greenhouse gases, … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Global warming, Policy, Research, The scientific method | Tagged , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Evidence-led?

I was blocked on Twitter by Zion Lights after I, somewhat snarkily, retweeted one of her tweets. Zion Lights is the UK director of Michael Shellenberger’s organisation, Environmental Progress. Zion Lights has had a bit of a rough week, having … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, ClimateBall, Philosophy for Bloggers, physicists, Research, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 156 Comments

Cosmopolitan knowledge

I’ve been reading a recent paper by Sujatha Raman and Warren Pearce called Learning the lessons of Climategate: A cosmopolitan moment in the public life of climate science. I’m always a little uncomfortable writing about climategate, partly because it’s been … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, ClimateBall, Environmental change, Research, Scientists, The philosophy of science, The scientific method | Tagged , , , , | 109 Comments