Wrong Kind of Snow: time to forget the Two Cultures

There should be a version of Godwin’s law that applies to science communication. It would be something like this: “As any discussion of science communication grows longer, the probability of an explanation involving Snow’s Two Cultures approaches 1.” As with Godwin’s original law which highlighted the danger of overusing Nazi analogies in discussion, so too…

Making City

What if the people of London and Paris swapped places? How would each city change? This is a thought experiment suggested by artist Claire Yspol in the following guest post. I am really pleased to be able to present this post which looks at the city as a text, examining not only how it is authored…

Walking at the Speed of Light

Imagine you can walk at the speed of light. It is difficult to comprehend just how large distances are in astronomy. By shrinking the scales down to something more manageable (eg Sun the size of a melon, grapefruit etc) we are still usually left trying to imagine distances that go far beyond our horizon and…

Six-Penny Science

If Queen Victoria had had a television this is what she would have watched. The new style of mass-circulation family magazines that are characteristic of the late-Victorian period have a striking resemblance to evening TV schedules. The technology may have been different but they have a number of features in common: a strong visual element…

Back to nature, experts and empire

I have long been intrigued by the idea of “going back to nature”. Why “nature”? Why “go back”? It’s not that I don’t see the appeal of the simple life, but for a cultural historian the ideas of “nature” and “return” are so rich with significance. I was therefore really pleased to see a recent post…