Blog Archives

How to promote your book when you don’t like self-promotion

How to promote your book when you don’t like self-promotion

How does book promotion happen when the people involved are averse to self-promotion? It’s a common enough question and one that has become more urgent as researchers feel the pressure to hawk their publications across their social media accounts. It’s something researchers often feel ill equipped to do, and they may also be reluctant to […] … learn more→

Unravelling life’s origin: five key breakthroughs from the past five years

Unravelling life’s origin: five key breakthroughs from the past five years

There is still so much we don’t understand about the origin of life on Earth. The definition of life itself is a source of debate among scientists, but most researchers agree on the fundamental ingredients of a living cell. Water, energy, and a few essential elements are the prerequisites for cells to emerge. However, the […] … learn more→

Creativity and giving up on knowing it all

Creativity and giving up on knowing it all

Knowledge is said to be cumulative. We accumulate knowledge throughout our formal education. We become more learned. The logic of studying is to get more knowledge. By the time we have completed a doctorate we know a lot. Right? The purpose of doing more and more formal education is to know more. That’s why we […] … learn more→

White ants and research education

White ants and research education

So I didn’t blog during my conference at all. I could say that I was out doing social things, which I was, but that really doesn’t account for the lack of posts. It’s actually that I have been pondering. The conference was a mix of academic and research responsible staff, a combination that you don’t […] … learn more→

How logic alone may prove that time doesn’t exist

How logic alone may prove that time doesn’t exist

Modern physics suggests time may be an illusion. Einstein’s theory of relativity, for example, suggests the universe is a static, four-dimensional block that contains all of space and time simultaneously – with no special “now”. What’s the future to one observer, is the past to another. That means time doesn’t flow from past to future, as we experience it. […] … learn more→

Research as creative practice – possibility thinking

Research as creative practice – possibility thinking

The late Anna Craft said that possibility thinking is moving from asking what something is, or does, to asking questions about what something might be or do or become. Possibility thinking is wondering, imagining, asking the question What if….? Possibility thinking is at the heart of creative practice. Possibility thinking is the way that ideas are […] … learn more→

Research as – is – creative practice

Research as – is – creative practice

It’s easy to get the idea that research is all about developing a plan, and then doing what you plan. A bit like this. Develop. At the start, you read a lot to help you work out your question or hypothesis. Then you decide how you will get an answer – what methods you will […] … learn more→

On MAL-attribution

On MAL-attribution

I was recently reviewing a paper and saw my own work cited. Very nice, you might think. However, I was cited for saying a thing that I didn’t say – a thing that I would never ever say. It was a thing that I have railed against in almost everything I’ve written on the topic. […] … learn more→

Abel Prize in mathematics 2024: the improbability of a coin tossed 1,000 times coming up heads in 600

Abel Prize in mathematics 2024: the improbability of a coin tossed 1,000 times coming up heads in 600

How can you earn 7.5 million Norwegian crowns (about €660,000) with mathematics? If you are thinking about something like “discovering the fault of a roulette wheel” or “counting cards”, I am sorry to disappoint you: the probability in these cases is usually against us, no matter how much the cinema insists on stating the opposite. […] … learn more→

Ancient scrolls are being ‘read’ by machine learning – with human knowledge to detect language and make sense of them

Ancient scrolls are being ‘read’ by machine learning – with human knowledge to detect language and make sense of them

A groundbreaking announcement for the recovery of lost ancient literature was recently made. Using a non-invasive method that harnesses machine learning, an international trio of scholars retrieved 15 columns of ancient Greek text from within a carbonized papyrus from Herculaneum, a seaside Roman town eight kilometres southeast of Naples, Italy. Their achievement earned them a US$700,000 grand […] … learn more→