Welcome to my new blog, where I discuss how we can use science to think about the problems of everyday life, from the pernickety to the profound, and diarise my efforts to make science an integral part of our wider culture. I am particularly concerned with how we can understand the problems of living in a complex world, and how we can better understand and control sudden runaway collapse in everything from personal relationships to banking systems, social structures and global ecosystems (see Len's website for further details, and in particular my work with the International Risk Governance Council).
To begin on a lighter note, however, here is a letter that I recently had published in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper (this is the original, which was slightly edited in the published version:
If neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light, then Jim Al-Khalili will eat his boxer shorts (Guardian, November 23). Speaking as a scientist who has occasionally provided technical advice to leading chefs, I would like to advise Professor Al-Khalili that the correct way to eat boxer shorts is to heat them to carbonization in a closed, oven-proof dish, and then sprinkle the ash on a rare porterhouse steak. I hope this helps. At the least, the charcoal will help to cure the indigestion that can arise from having to eat one’s words.