Science & Technology

Finding the cause of the MH17 disaster, beyond all reasonable doubt

Anyone who has watched a TV who-done-it, as most of us have,  knows there are certain rules or ideals that all good investigators must aspire to. The same ideals apply in all modern liberal democracies since the enlightenment, in every kind of inquiry, whether in law, journalism or science: Take nobodies word for it. Hearsay … Continue reading Finding the cause of the MH17 disaster, beyond all reasonable doubt

Michael Shrimpton – Spyhunter

Here’s a video not many people have watched, or are ever likely to watch. It’s a 40 min speech given by barrister Michael Shrimpton at the Britain on the Brink conference in Winchester on 22 September 2007. What was the Britain on the Brink Conference you might ask? Well, according to the YouTube blurb is … Continue reading Michael Shrimpton – Spyhunter

What does the Challenger disaster tell us about the meaning of “evidence”?

We’ve just been watching the excellent new BBC/Open University movie, The Challenger, starring William Hurt, telling the story of how Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman uncovered the truth behind the 1986 space shuttle disaster. As a former physicist with a passion for science stretching back as far as I can remember, I’m getting increasingly concerned … Continue reading What does the Challenger disaster tell us about the meaning of “evidence”?

Brunel, Bhagwan, The Beatles and the collapse of Western Civilization

“I endeavour to understand the current state of railway matters when everyone around seems mad. Stark staring mad. The only sane course is to get out and keep quiet.” Isambard Kingdom Brunel         It’s tragic that the man  who created so much of Britain’s railway infrastructure was driven to a point where he had to … Continue reading Brunel, Bhagwan, The Beatles and the collapse of Western Civilization

Public services run by targets will either seize up or explode

“Although New Labour may have come to power talking of ‘joined-up government’, in practice it has approached policy from the exactly opposite point of view – breaking a problem down into its component parts and then attempting to solve them in a linear fashion. [] “As author Jake Chapman, a well known systems thinker, points … Continue reading Public services run by targets will either seize up or explode

Resistance resisted

New Scientist
Comment

This year marks a decade since a committee under Professor Sir Michael Swann advised the British government to curb the then wholesale, indiscriminate use of antibiotics in agriculture. The committee was established because of amply evidenced claims that the inclusion of potent antimicrobial drugs in feedstuffs for pigs, poultry and other livestock had encouraged the emergence of bacteria resistant to

How the Union got down to Brass Tacks

NFU Insight

DAVID LEE, the NFU assistant press officer at Agriculture House, Knightsbridge, was giving the new issue of Radio Times a quick once-over on the afternoon of April 26. Looking across at Roger Turff, the press officer, he said: ‘I’m about to spoil your day’. Radio Times and the Brass Tacks programme on BBC 2 was to spoil quite a number of days for both NFU members and staff

The BBC lets agriculture down

Livestock Farming

THE British Broadcasting Corporation has flipped its lid. After weeks of scrupulous impartiality throughout the general election campaign – extending to even fiction programmes – it has seemingly sought to let off steam through the medium of a new programme called Brass Tacks. This programme – billed in the Radio Times as ‘a new concept in broadcasting – is an insult to the public intelligence and professional journalism. If the hitherto much-respected BBC has any sensitivity left it will review the senior staff appointments on Brass Tacks