Archive

All my posts, ever! Reverse chronological order. Dates in UK format: dd/mm/yy

Women and sexism in STEM

31/07/14 – Seeing people who teach children things being sexist makes me really angry. Here’s why, in some context of science, tech, engineering and maths.

Seattle Down

06/07/14 – plenty more places to go. But this trip was fantastic. Click for a photo-blogpost with links to info, more photos and Storify.

Prejude itself isn’t the only problem

01/06/14 – taking a sideways view of the recent Britain is more/less racist than it was headlines.

Death to “banter”

14/05/14 – a quick rant about my new least favourite word. Well, it has been for a while, but I thought I’d share it with you now.

Women who eat on tubes make menz cry

08/05/14 – after a long drafting process (not as well-polished an article as I’d like) and the closure of one of my favourite facebook groups, may I introduce you to “Women who eat on tubes”, brainchild of professional creep, Mr Tony Burke.

QEDcon 2014

22/04/14 – featuring Nate Phelps, Kryten and Paul Zenon. You have to watch Nate Phelps’ talk, or you’re really missing out. Definitely not a back-dated post, this.

University adversity – advertising rape

31/03/14 – the University of Kent’s student union produced a shocking poster that seemed to be advertising one of their events with the fact that drunk, vulnerable women would be out alone. Classy! I hope that this and other responses will make them take more responsibility than the non-apology initially issued by Kent Union.

Cancer selfie awareness

20/03/14 – A campaign from last year gets a second wind and returns as something that ends up being a lot more useful than when it started. Why? What does “awareness” even mean? And other such questions.

Are you transphobic? Am I?

17/02/14 – It’s dangerous to talk about some things on Twitter and this is one of them. I don’t profess to be an expert in this but I hope it’s useful to some and sparks a reasonable (and less hate-filled than usual) conversation. Transphobia is real, but “transphobe” is thrown around a lot. Why?

On the Sunday Assembly

28/01/14 – I went to a Sunday Assembly in London because a friend needed to check it out. I didn’t expect I’d enjoy it, and I didn’t – but I’m not saying “atheist churches” shouldn’t exist at all. Each to their own.

Healthy Evidence Forum

20/01/14 – Sense About Science launch a new discussion forum, together with NHS Choices Behind the Headlines. Hopefully it will become a useful resource for people hoping to find out more about medical claims.

Scientists cure cancer but no-one notices

13/01/14 – Following a great post by the multitalented Kat Arney at CRUK, I resurrect some old anger directed at people who think it’s OK to suggest there’s a conspiracy hiding cancer cures, when people around the world who have suffered its effects work hard to develop better treatments, and while survivors walk among us.

Atheism flux

09/01/14 – wading into the “Is it time to move on from the New Atheism?” New Humanist debate. A few have kindly said they like this post because a lot of it is applicable to other situations as well.

2013 in review

31/12/13 – Link to the WordPress report for this blog, and some personal oversharing to explain why I’ve posted so little this year.

Science is Vital 2013

15/12/13 – Notes from the second Science is Vital AGM: happenings from the last year and plans for the future.

Sexist “brand advice?” No thank you

21/11/13 – Times Higher Education report some shockingly sexist (and racist) comments from a branding agency. Someone forgot to switch on their brain-to-mouth filter that day.

What Next? Gendered Science Toys.

28/10/13 – A friend stumbled upon Fizz Pop Science – an admirable pro-science venture, but with some very disappointing gender stereotyping.

Ask for Evidence – Miracle Cures

17/09/13 – The charity Sense About Science have added a new arm to their Ask for Evidence project, targeting claims of miracle cures for cancer. This post mentions two that have caught my attention in recent years (Burzynski and MMS/Jim Humble/Bleachgate).

Poverty Perceptions

28/08/13 – Twitter’s target this week is Jamie Oliver… again. But why? And who’s really coming from a knowledgeable angle?

Opt-Out Organs

25/08/13 – Why don’t people want to participate in organ donation? Would a system change help? Death makes people think and do weird things.

Running Rings Around Homophobia

16/08/13 – A look at Russia’s current anti-gay laws, local and international perceptions and the controversy around the planned 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

FBrape campaign

29/05/13 – A post covering the background and success of the #FBrape campaign, which aimed to force Facebook to remove violently misogynistic pages (as per its guidelines) via getting advertisers to pull their ads from the site.

Skinny Bitch

09/05/13 – We’ve all done it, made those nasty comments, we’ll probably continue to – but body shape isn’t simple and maybe we should be more considerate of other people’s struggles with their image and health.

Battling Sexism

01/05/13 – Gendered toys and women on English banknotes (there aren’t and never have been many – will there soon be none?). Includes a link to my Pod Delusion report.

LiftGate: QEDcon2013

15/04/13 – my QED thoughts for this year, plus accumulated links.

Shisha scheisse

08/04/13 – a tastelessly-titled look at shisha tobacco smoking; it’s not as harmless as you may have thought.

Circumcision debate

08/03/13 – covering a debate hosted by the University College London Atheist, Humanist & Secularist Society. Jonathan Arkush vs. Antony Lempert. Rough transcript, full audio and some discussion. Also links to my Pod Delusion report!

Life of Pi

20/02/13 – a quick book/film review of Yann Martel’s novel and its screen adaptation. Moved over from my Posterous space after the announcement that it’s being closed down!

Confessions Of A Former Misogynist

14/02/13 – a Guest Post by Ben this time, on his personal revelations about his attitudes towards women, how he analysed his feelings and behaviours, and worked over time to improve them. A Valentine’s day challenge: if you relate, can you commit to changing for the better?

For A Safer Internet

13/02/13 – a Guest Post by my friend Colin, who does some voluntary work to help young people stay safe online. In honour (if a little bit late) of Safer Internet Day 2013.

Learning Russian

21/01/13 – On false cognates (words that sound like words in another language, but have slightly – or very – different meanings) in Russian, plus how/and why I learned for a while.

2012 review

20/01/13 – the nice WordPress folks have prepared stats reports, which are quite interesting (for us authors, I guess!), so here’s a link to mine.

LGBT+

19/01/13 – exploring gender identiy and sexuality labels, what’s useful about them, what isn’t, plus a competition!!

Fish in a barrel

17/01/13 – a Guest Post by @teachingofsci about an exchange he had with a fan of homeopathy, and what came of it.

Finland

14/01/13 – one of those rare travel blogposts, this time about my recent lovely New Year holiday in Finnish Lapland.

ALL the trials!

12/01/13 – alltrials is a new campaign to get all clinical trial data published and accessible. Ben Goldacre explained why this is important at a recent Soho Skeptics event.

Card Knocks

08/12/12 – A Twitter person spots a horrible sexist birthday card in a shop, tweets a photo and it gets around. Hallmark responds that it’s not been made for years and they’ll try to track the rest down. Likely?

Cuts, labels and preferences

04/12/12 – I read a fantastic article about the complex phenomenon of genital cutting and it launched me into a rant about biphobia, choices, preferences and hypocrites.

The silent misogyny

22/11/12 – following a no-vote from the Church of England regarding female bishops and a lot of other sexist things that have irritated me, I try to bring them together to point out that misogyny is alive and well, and worth combating.

Flight

16/11/12 – I haven’t been on many planes in my time and when I do take them, it makes me think.

Media manipulation from Hillsborough to Leveson

12/11/12 – a write-up of the first Soho Skeptics event. The speaker was Chris Atkins of Starsuckers fame, who told us about the making of the film, some of the consequences, and how PR influences journalism.

John Maddox Prize 2012

7/11/12 – an account of Sense About Science’s inaugural Standing Up For Science prizegiving event. Huge comments section generated around the work of Professor Simon Wessely on ME. Comments are now closed due to their volume and inevitable repetition.

Beehave in the beehive

2/11/12 – a Science post! A brief look at some of the research on how queen bees manage colony dynamics with pheromones.

The sound of silence

22/10/12 – my take on some of the implications of the sprawling Savile abuse scandal, with particular focus on why victims stay silent and what I hope will be learned from this. More has since been uncovered.

Persecuted? Really?!

11/10/12 – an adapted version of a Posterous rant about religious folk’s invalid complaints of persecution. Just shut up.

Taking a stand

24/09/12 – a re-post from a friend’s blog. The aim is to reassure people who feel victimised by ‘creepy’ behaviour that they are not alone and certainly not without support should they choose to make a complaint. When a perpetrator is well-known to a community, people should not stand idly by, but help to make people feel welcome and safe. If that person holds a lot of power, it can be near impossible for people to feel capable of doing anything about it. Hopefully that will change.

Science is Vital 2012

14/09/12 – my write-up of the Science is Vital AGM this year. The first year!

I am skeptical of your philosophy

11/09/12 – kind of a requested rant, stemming from the latest ‘schisms’ in atheism/skepticism, largely centred around the insistance of a vocal minority that being sexist is ok and a ‘right’ worth defending.

Ad astra

27/08/12 – a tribute of sorts to Neil Armstrong after he died on 25/08/12. I seem to be in a Latin-titles phase again, but nowt wrong with that.

Vita Politica

26/08/12 – a very spontaneous train of thought regarding political leanings and privileges, sparked off by a conversation comparing childhood circumstances, which were very different even though we are now both very liberal individuals.

Offended? Good.

08/08/12 – Quite a long muse on the concept of taking/causing offence and, more generally, just Not Being A Dick if you think you want to be a Nice Person.

Reasonable Force?

31/07/12 – After a teenager is arrested for insulting and then issuing death threats to Olympic diver Tom Daley, I implore people not to play the role of judge and jury by themselves, but also ask why so many real threats are not taken seriously enough and cost lives.

PhD (almost) win!

18/07/12 – I passed my PhD viva!! A summary of the PhD process in biological/medical research and what’s still left to do before I am 100% officially Dr. Noodlemaz.

OlympHiggs boson

05/07/12 – A join post with my friend Giles, who was irked by silly tweets from a BBC reporter complaining that the LHC is a waste of money.

Libel Reform update: 3 years on

28/07/12 – A report of the 2012 Libel Reform campaign mass lobby of Parliament: what the speakers said, where the bill stands, hopes for the future.

Expression Is Not Free

13/02/12 – My account of the Rally for Free Expression outside Parliament in February 2012. It was freezing, but lots of great speakers got up to explain why we still need to fight to keep expression as free as possible here in the UK, because it’s still being threatened.

Troublesome TfL

07/02/12 – I have a complaint about an e-mail sent out only to female users of Transport for London, warning them not to go and get themselves raped around Christmas time.

Science Wooseum Revisited

17/01/12 – A recon trip to the Science Museum in London. I report on the changes that have apparently been made to the dodgy woo exhibit on the top floor, which don’t quite go far enough; but at least our complaints were acknowledged.

Burzynski II

05/12/11 – My second post on the cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski; at this point I got frustrated and fed up with certain “rationalists”‘ behaviour online towards those who are beyond help and not the rightful targets of our anti-quack vitriol. They are victims who can be hurt even beyond the pain they currently suffer and the people who acted out of line put me off going anywhere near this issue for so long.

Burzynski

28/11/11 – A post about the disturbing case of a man in Texas who runs a ‘cancer clinic’ that charges people tens of thousands of dollars for “pioneering treatments” that are actually unethical, dangerous and destroying lives just like the disease he purports to fight.

Victim Blaming

30/10/11 – A look at some of the far-too-common instances of blaming victims of sexual violence for what happens to them, rather than addressing the culture that fosters so many attacks in the first place.

Invisible Lives

21/10/11 – A write-up of a fantastic Westminster Skeptics talk by Juliet Jacques, on transgender history and transphobia.

Helpful Poisons

26/09/11 – My attempt at explaining what chemotherapy is supposed to do, why it’s horrible, and why the people telling you to avoid it because it’s poison are wrong. (Happily, someone entered this in a science writing competition on my behalf; didn’t win of course, but pleasant nonetheless!)

Interacting on the interweb

03/08/11 – one of my periodical rants about how great the internet is for people after someone decided to start complaining about Twitter and Facebook again.

No Yeo Valley

23/07/11 – Yeo Valley thought it was a good idea to use homeopathy on their cows. Hmm?

Complementary Responsibilities

14/07/11 – in which I muse on the varied shirking of responsibilities that goes on where alt med is concerned.

50 ways to kill your lover?

30/06/11 – Having been shocked by a phone-in my favourite radio station, Xfm, did concerning an extension of Paul Simon’s ’50 ways to leave your lover’, I wrote about it and why I was concerned by it.

AMD ain’t no picnic

24/05/11 – a read of the Metro (oh, not again!) prompts me to look at some dodgy products claiming to be helpful for age-related macular degeneration.

Wooseum to Museum?

11/05/11 – a short update on the Science Wooseum front.

In the US of A

09/05/11 – An account of my first and so far only trip to the USA, to attend a cancer conference in Florida (and have a short holiday).

IgNobel Awards 2011

14/04/11 – The IgNobel awards; funny yet intriguing science antics.

The 3rd Perspective

06/03/11 – A joint post with my friend Laura, about the pressures put on people who suffer from chronic illnesses by often well-meaning people suggesting they try some ‘alternatives that might help’.

Quacks-A-Calling

04/03/11 – Mother gets a call from somewhat infamous “healthcare” spammers, Sanda Wellness.

‘Living Medical Traditions’

20/02/11 – A closer look at the offending altmed exhibit in the London Science Museum, part of the Science Wooseum series.

<3

14/02/11 – a Valentine’s Day post shedding some light on stuff I did during my PhD, which prompted my supervisor to call me “soppy”.

Science Wooseum Update

09/02/11 – does what it says on the tin.

QEDcon: Day 2

06/02/11 – the second day of QEDcon 2011

QEDcon: Day 1

05/02/11 – the first day of QEDcon 2011, the first QED conference!

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

04/02/11 – A very short update on the progress we made with ‘Science Wooseum’

Science Wooseum

31/01/11 – A Guest-ish Post by me and Alex D explaining why we had a problem with the Science Museum in London – the alternative medicine-focused exhibit contained some very worrying things. Lots of comments.

Antisocial Media

24/01/11 – I get annoyed at people complaining about technology and social media, like they always have done and probably always will. But I can still tell them they’re wrong.

Hi, my name is…

19/01/11 – I’d like to know who’s reading my blog! So tell me who you are (ish), where you came from and why. It’s interesting.

Thinking Outreach

05/01/11 – I was in a video! Also, an introduction to more excellent sciencey events, such as Think Outreach (Cambridge).

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

03/01/11 – about the somewhat notorious creationist ‘zoo farm’ attraction near Bristol, England, which contains anti-evolution ‘teaching’ materials.

Homophobia politika

29/12/10 – observing some media/political homophobia, followed by an “interesting discussion” with a commenter.

A “media tart” case study

11/12/10 – regarding the life and work of Dr. Armand Leroi, evolutionary biologist, author and presenter.

One Year On: Libel Reform Update

06/12/10 – another plain-titled post, on the Libel Reform campaign’s progress to date.

SDWFD: Episodes 3-6!

28/11/10 – summary of the content of the Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo podcast from me and Rhys in episodes 3-6.

The Future of Science?

26/11/10 – Having attended a fascinating evening of presentations at the Dana Centre (London), I did my best to relay the broad range of content from the speakers.

Libel Reform Is Ongoing

13/11/10 – a drive to highlight the need for libel reform in the UK, just as #iamspartacus kicked off.

My no.1 overlooked issue in skepticism

09/11/10 – an extended text version of an audio piece I presented on the Strange Quarks podcast regarding male circumcision.

SDWFD: Episode 2!

06/11/10 – Against all better judgment, the boyo and I actually continued with the podcast after I bought a proper headset.

SDWFD: Episode 1

03/11/10 – transcript for the first episode of the podcast (seriously lacking in background…)

Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo!

30/10/10 – a silly Twitter idea leads to Rhys Morgan and I starting a skeptical podcast (as if there weren’t enough already!)

Critical Furniture

24/10/10 – I fall victim to the navel-gazing that happens periodically in the “skeptic community”, and wonder what use it is to go around telling people in such a non-homogenous movement that they’re “doing it wrong”

‘Bleachgate’ and beyond

21/10/10 – some of the biggest cancer quacks around, from Jim Humble and his MMS, to Simoncini’s bicarbonate solution to the candida-yeast-causes-cancer ‘hypothesis’.

Ponderment

05/10/10 – a short Bleachgate update, followed by some musings on the purposes and uses of media like Facebook and Twitter.

Protesting the Pope

19/09/10 – an account of the event that was the marvellous Protest the Pope in London during the pontiff’s state visit

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much

16/09/10 – a reaction to a friend complaining about my protesting activities (nothing at all compared to some people I know!! And what of it?), explaining what Protest the Pope is all about.

Testing the Water

10/09/10 – A brief foray into the world of animal research openness.

Cellular Casino

07/09/10 – An attempt at some proper science communication! A protein is shown to be important in how cells sort out  their DNA when they’re dividing.

I’m A Scientist..!

03/09/10 – my account of participating in 2010’s round of I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here! – an online engagement event between scientists and school students.

Bleachgate Link Roundup: 2nd and last

30/08/10 – more links relevant to the Bleachgate story.

Link Roundup: Bleachgate

16/08/10 – links relating to the MMS/Bleachgate saga.

#Bleachgate: the plot thickens

12/08/10 – a thorough look at what exactly Jim Humble has been doing with MMS, and why it’s so scarily dangerous.

Papa, Don’t Bleach

11/08/10 – an introduction to what would become ‘Bleachgate’ – why Rhys Morgan got involved and asked the skeptical community for support when he was banned from the Crohn’s Forum after challenging MMS recommendations.

Fires of Russia

10/08/10 – on the terrifying fires that swept across Western Russia just a couple of weeks after I got back from my holiday there

Sceptical about skeptics?

03/08/10 – a report of Frank Swain’s talk at Westminster skeptics. Some semi-professional navel-gazing.

A crash course in skeptical activism

03/08/10 – Simon Perry shares some top-class tactics for getting stuff done, tackling alt med retailers who take advantage of lax regulation and put people at risk.

Germ Warfare

31/07/10 – why I hate the word ‘germs’ and the advertising that comes with it.

Cogito ergo sum

17/07/10 – a write-up of Brooke Magnanti’s talk at Westminster skeptics, on biometrics and identification.

Cake or beer? I’ll have the cake, please.

16/07/10 – a write-up of an event I attended where we talked about science and scicomms, and ate some cake.

I been Russian around

15/07/10 – an account of my trip to Russia and my initial impressions; my first ‘proper’ holiday, including first flights!

Communicating Science Effectively

22/06/10 – The final part in my write-up series of the British Science Association’s Science Communication Conference, 2010

Government, Science and Society

13/06/10 -Part 4 of my BSA SciCommConf 2010 series.

Triangular Tricks

31/05/10 – on some of Matt Parker’s excellent Maths entertainment, including mystical locations of Woolworths stores.

Scientific “Mythbusting” and Dialogue

25/05/10 – Part 2 of the BSA SciCommConf 2010 series.

SciComms: Government, Media and Language

25/05/10 – Part 1 of the BSA SciCommConf 2010 series.

Stand back! We’re trying science…

21/05/10 – an introduction to I’m a Scientist… after I found out I was going to be part of it!

New life, Jim? Not as we know it.

21/05/10 – on Craig Venter’s “synthesis of new life” and why I don’t… really… think so. Still cool, though.

Research Fraud For Dummies

11/05/10 – Brian Deer’s Westminster skeptics talk on his investigative journalism work exposing Andrew Wakefield’s research fraud in falsely linking the MMR to autism.

FGM and MGM; still a long way to go

08/05/10 – a post on the many complex hurdles we are still to overcome in the fight against routine non-medical child genital mutilation.

On GE2010 – a personal perspective

02/05/10 – why I decided to vote LD in the 2010 general election. Yeah, so sue me.

The Point of Research

18/04/10 – something I wrote some time ago, to try to explain to people why scientific research happens and why it’s necessary.

Discrimination is bad, unless it’s part of my religion

16/04/10 – on the church’s uncanny ability to defend its right to be bigoted and prejudiced, in the name of religious ‘rights’.

Simon Singh WIN!

15/04/10 – celebrating Simon Singh’s triumph in the libel case brought by the British Chiropractic Association :D

Simon Singh Rally

13/04/10 – a supportive gathering for Simon at Westminster skeptics, during his ongoing legal battle against the BCA.

Science Only Adds; Don’t Cut the Budget!

07/04/10 – on Brian Cox’s Voltaire lecture at Conway Hall – why science is important, fantastic, and why our government should stop underfunding it.

The words that never came to mind

03/04/10 – starting to learn to articulate my feminist thoughts (in this case by relaying someone else’s) that had for so long been buried and silenced by immature and ignorant voices.

Why one should not read the free papers

02/04/10 – a rant about some articles in the Metro!

We’re Singhing, ‘cos we’re winning!

01/04/10 – an update on Simon Singh’s court battle with the British Chiropractic Association

Wednesday evening link roundup

25/03/10 –  when I used to actually find time to do these.

Libel Reform Mass Lobby (a.k.a. Libelpalooza)

24/03/10 – We go to Parliament to tell MPs to support the Libel Reform Campaign! … Then we went to the pub.

Libel Reform and Science Funding

19/03/10 – The Big Libel Gig happened, to raise funds for the Libel Reform Campaign and increase awareness of the issues facing science; including silencing through libel claims, and budget cuts.

Medicine Needs to Evolve

18/03/10 – I’m inspired by heartily agreeing with a talk from Prof. Randolph Nesse; on the importance of evolution in biology and medicine, and why it’s so neglected a topic. Still one of my favourite posts.

Libel Bullies

18/03/10 – An account of some important information that never made it to the public domain because of our ridiculous libel laws. Including exposés of farming, political funding and quack medicine.

Guns don’t kill people, Rabbids do

18/03/10 – an updated version of an old post I wrote questioning whether gaming is really bad for children (hint: no, I don’t think so).

A Sunny March Morning Rant

18/03/10 – Just. Don’t. Read. the Metro!!

Why do I care? A GM that I do oppose

18/03/10 – my attempt to explain why I’m so passionate about my stance against routine infant male circumcision/genital mutilation (GM).

Singh when you’re winning… (cont. 2)

18/03/10 – after we went to the Royal Courts of Justice to support Simon!

Singh when you’re winning… (cont.)

18/03/10 – an account of the first Westminster Skeptics event on Libel Reform

Singh when you’re winning…

18/03/10 – an introduction to the Libel Reform Campaign following the first meeting at London Skeptics in the Pub in Holborn.

Homeopathy – what’s in it?

17/03/10 – what the hell is homeopathy, why do we care, and what on earth is the 10:23 (or #ten23 on Twitter) campaign all about?

James Watson’s Big Mouth (2007)

17/03/10 – Watson makes silly racist comments. Sigh.

ByeBye Canters (2005)

17/03/10 – in which I say Jamie Oliver is brilliant. He is, shh.

Thoughts for the holidays (2005)

17/03/10 – mostly a rant about religion being shitty.

Inventions, Mark II (2005)

17/03/10 – random ideas about things that don’t exist, that maybe should.

What about Hull, anyway? (2005)

17/03/10 – a strange little ramble from my second year of university.

Go forth, live long and prosper. (2005)

17/03/10 – a little muse about cool, under-used words.

Hello/Здравствуйте/Guten tag/Bonjour/Ciao/hola!

17/03/10 – First post on new official blog. Hello!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s