SciBarCamb conference intro game

SciBarCamb is over, but it was awesome this year! I am the worst at live-tweeting, but luckily Lou and Laura and lots of other enthusiastic Twitter-users were at hand to document every single minute of it, from the intro game to the final goodbyes, so keep an eye on the…

Lab-grown meat. Would I eat that?

It’s something I rarely talk about, but this year is my 10th anniversary of being vegetarian. I don’t know exactly when, because it was a very gradual process. I started slowly phasing out meat from my diet in the late nineties, but lapsed in early 2001, when I was staying…

SciBarCamb and you

SciBarCamb will be back on April 20/21, and registration has opened (although the cheapest tickets are almost gone now) so I thought I’d explain why you might want to attend and what you can expect when you go. If you’re in a rush, you can get the gist of it…

Book Review – Geek Nation

I’ve never been to India, but I did change planes at the airport in Delhi on my way to Kathmandu this summer. Delhi airport looks like every other major international airport, with a Body Shop, WH Smith, and Costa Coffee. The shops accepted American dollars, but gave change in rupees….

Can digital lab notebooks protect against fraud?

Even though I’ve left the lab a few years ago, I’m still interested in what goes on in labs. Perhaps even more than before, because I can now take a step back to think about things in a broader sense. Take lab notebooks, for example. There was a news article…

hovercraft crafting

Hovercraft crafting at Drink Shop & Do

Earlier this month, I joined a table of fellow geeks to craft hovercrafts at Drink Shop & Do. The event was run by Science London (the London branch of the British Science Association), who regularly host science craft nights. Dan had been before, and encouraged us all to go. I…

Dancing scientists cure cancer at McGill

Dancing scientists in Canada are curing cancer. Well, they’re trying, at least. Researchers of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill University in Montreal have made a YouTube video of them dancing in their labs to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. Their sponsor, Medicom, is donating money to their research institute…

Science offline communities

This year’s Science Online London was probably my favourite so far in terms of the variety in the programme. There were sessions about communicating science using the web, but also practical data-wrangling sessions. Something for everyone. In my session, we talked about offline communities. As much as I like how…

Make history, not vitamin C

(This post was previously hosted on my old blog at (now offline) and is published in print in The Best Science Writing Online 2012) “Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?” – Edward Lorenz This is a story about a tiny molecular…

Beer chemistry

Last week, I found out about the Tumblr blog F No, Chemical Free with images of products that supposedly contain no chemicals at all.It reminded me of a story from undergrad about beer chemistry. It’s not my story, but I’ll have to retell It reminded me of a story from…