All my posts, ever! Reverse chronological order. Dates in UK format: dd/mm/yy
30/06/16 – I picked up some books by friends and here’s why I think you should read them.
16/06/16 – A homophobia-driven massacre followed by a right-wing political assassination; a shocking, sobering week. Some collected thoughts.
08/03/16 – It’s #IWD2016 and, for the nth recurring year, it’s “Men ask when THEIR day is” day. Why is that so harmful? Next year: ignore men. It’s not about them, it cannot be, and they need to learn that.
11/10/15 – The UK government is again threatening to cut the science budget. This would be disastrous not just for today’s researchers but for our future in science globally. Please join in with our campaign to prevent this.
08/10/15 – First guest post for The Malcontent on why we must condemn assault, not observe it wistfully
26/08/15 – Skeptical of the ‘dangers’ of so-called Trigger Warnings, a recap of my current thoughts on them
07/08/15 – I’m not impressed with the proliferation of synonyms for mental ill-health being used as catch-all descriptors for things, especially horrible things. Please try to stop doing it.
05/07/15 – My own views (still evolving) on this idea, of how we can relate to others whose life is not so plain sailing as ours
02/05/15 – A look back at the 5th successful Question. Explore. Discover. Conference in Manchester.
24/03/15 – I love pool. I don’t love some of the people I have to deal with when I’m trying to enjoy it.
14/03/15 – In the run-up to this year’s general election, we need to highlight how far behind other countries we are when it comes to science funding.
27/01/15 – Notes from a Google Hangout run by jobs.ac.uk on using social media as a researcher
05/01/15 – after a hiatus, briefly looking back and forward
30/09/14 – a mostly-guest-post with Mike Hall about Kinder Surprise’s gendered marketing
27/08/14 – My thoughts and sort-of-participation-in the Ice Bucket Challenge, following on from No Make-up Selfie earlier this year.
24/08/14 – The new campaign – making sense of dietary fads
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.
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.
01/06/14 – taking a sideways view of the recent Britain is more/less racist than it was headlines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15/12/13 – Notes from the second Science is Vital AGM: happenings from the last year and plans for the future.
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.
28/10/13 – A friend stumbled upon Fizz Pop Science – an admirable pro-science venture, but with some very disappointing gender stereotyping.
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).
28/08/13 – Twitter’s target this week is Jamie Oliver… again. But why? And who’s really coming from a knowledgeable angle?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15/04/13 – my QED thoughts for this year, plus accumulated links.
08/04/13 – a tastelessly-titled look at shisha tobacco smoking; it’s not as harmless as you may have thought.
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
19/01/13 – exploring gender identiy and sexuality labels, what’s useful about them, what isn’t, plus a competition!!
17/01/13 – a Guest Post by @teachingofsci about an exchange he had with a fan of homeopathy, and what came of it.
14/01/13 – one of those rare travel blogposts, this time about my recent lovely New Year holiday in Finnish Lapland.
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.
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?
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.
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.
16/11/12 – I haven’t been on many planes in my time and when I do take them, it makes me think.
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.
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.
2/11/12 – a Science post! A brief look at some of the research on how queen bees manage colony dynamics with pheromones.
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.
11/10/12 – an adapted version of a Posterous rant about religious folk’s invalid complaints of persecution. Just shut up.
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.
14/09/12 – my write-up of the Science is Vital AGM this year. The first year!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
21/10/11 – A write-up of a fantastic Westminster Skeptics talk by Juliet Jacques, on transgender history and transphobia.
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!)
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.
23/07/11 – Yeo Valley thought it was a good idea to use homeopathy on their cows. Hmm?
14/07/11 – in which I muse on the varied shirking of responsibilities that goes on where alt med is concerned.
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.
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.
11/05/11 – a short update on the Science Wooseum front.
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).
14/04/11 – The IgNobel awards; funny yet intriguing science antics.
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’.
04/03/11 – Mother gets a call from somewhat infamous “healthcare” spammers, Sanda Wellness.
20/02/11 – A closer look at the offending altmed exhibit in the London Science Museum, part of the Science Wooseum series.
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”.
09/02/11 – does what it says on the tin.
06/02/11 – the second day of QEDcon 2011
05/02/11 – the first day of QEDcon 2011, the first QED conference!
04/02/11 – A very short update on the progress we made with ‘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.
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.
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.
05/01/11 – I was in a video! Also, an introduction to more excellent sciencey events, such as Think Outreach (Cambridge).
03/01/11 – about the somewhat notorious creationist ‘zoo farm’ attraction near Bristol, England, which contains anti-evolution ‘teaching’ materials.
29/12/10 – observing some media/political homophobia, followed by an “interesting discussion” with a commenter.
11/12/10 – regarding the life and work of Dr. Armand Leroi, evolutionary biologist, author and presenter.
06/12/10 – another plain-titled post, on the Libel Reform campaign’s progress to date.
28/11/10 – summary of the content of the Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo podcast from me and Rhys in episodes 3-6.
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.
13/11/10 – a drive to highlight the need for libel reform in the UK, just as #iamspartacus kicked off.
09/11/10 – an extended text version of an audio piece I presented on the Strange Quarks podcast regarding male circumcision.
06/11/10 – Against all better judgment, the boyo and I actually continued with the podcast after I bought a proper headset.
03/11/10 – transcript for the first episode of the podcast (seriously lacking in background…)
30/10/10 – a silly Twitter idea leads to Rhys Morgan and I starting a skeptical podcast (as if there weren’t enough already!)
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”
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’.
05/10/10 – a short Bleachgate update, followed by some musings on the purposes and uses of media like Facebook and Twitter.
19/09/10 – an account of the event that was the marvellous Protest the Pope in London during the pontiff’s state visit
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.
10/09/10 – A brief foray into the world of animal research openness.
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.
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.
30/08/10 – more links relevant to the Bleachgate story.
16/08/10 – links relating to the MMS/Bleachgate saga.
12/08/10 – a thorough look at what exactly Jim Humble has been doing with MMS, and why it’s so scarily dangerous.
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.
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
03/08/10 – a report of Frank Swain’s talk at Westminster skeptics. Some semi-professional navel-gazing.
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.
31/07/10 – why I hate the word ‘germs’ and the advertising that comes with it.
17/07/10 – a write-up of Brooke Magnanti’s talk at Westminster skeptics, on biometrics and identification.
16/07/10 – a write-up of an event I attended where we talked about science and scicomms, and ate some cake.
15/07/10 – an account of my trip to Russia and my initial impressions; my first ‘proper’ holiday, including first flights!
22/06/10 – The final part in my write-up series of the British Science Association’s Science Communication Conference, 2010
13/06/10 -Part 4 of my BSA SciCommConf 2010 series.
31/05/10 – on some of Matt Parker’s excellent Maths entertainment, including mystical locations of Woolworths stores.
25/05/10 – Part 2 of the BSA SciCommConf 2010 series.
25/05/10 – Part 1 of the BSA SciCommConf 2010 series.
21/05/10 – an introduction to I’m a Scientist… after I found out I was going to be part of it!
21/05/10 – on Craig Venter’s “synthesis of new life” and why I don’t… really… think so. Still cool, though.
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.
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.
02/05/10 – why I decided to vote LD in the 2010 general election. Yeah, so sue me.
18/04/10 – something I wrote some time ago, to try to explain to people why scientific research happens and why it’s necessary.
16/04/10 – on the church’s uncanny ability to defend its right to be bigoted and prejudiced, in the name of religious ‘rights’.
15/04/10 – celebrating Simon Singh’s triumph in the libel case brought by the British Chiropractic Association😀
13/04/10 – a supportive gathering for Simon at Westminster skeptics, during his ongoing legal battle against the BCA.
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.
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.
02/04/10 – a rant about some articles in the Metro!
01/04/10 – an update on Simon Singh’s court battle with the British Chiropractic Association
25/03/10 – when I used to actually find time to do these.
24/03/10 – We go to Parliament to tell MPs to support the Libel Reform Campaign! … Then we went to the pub.
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.
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.
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.
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).
18/03/10 – Just. Don’t. Read. the Metro!!
18/03/10 – my attempt to explain why I’m so passionate about my stance against routine infant male circumcision/genital mutilation (GM).
18/03/10 – after we went to the Royal Courts of Justice to support Simon!
18/03/10 – an account of the first Westminster Skeptics event on Libel Reform
18/03/10 – an introduction to the Libel Reform Campaign following the first meeting at London Skeptics in the Pub in Holborn.
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?
17/03/10 – Watson makes silly racist comments. Sigh.
17/03/10 – in which I say Jamie Oliver is brilliant. He is, shh.
17/03/10 – mostly a rant about religion being shitty.
17/03/10 – random ideas about things that don’t exist, that maybe should.
17/03/10 – a strange little ramble from my second year of university.
17/03/10 – a little muse about cool, under-used words.
17/03/10 – First post on new official blog. Hello!