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Large Hadron Collider Restart: Live Blog

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-04-05 09:49

Easter morning excitement as the CERN accelerator team send beams around the LHC for the first time in many months - a major milestone on the way to even higher energy collisions!

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Is 10% of the population really gay?

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-04-05 08:00

Drawing on the widest survey of sexual behaviour since the Kinsey Report, David Spiegelhalter, in his book Sex By Numbers, answers key questions about our private lives. Here he reveals how Kinsey’s contested claim that 10% of us are gay is actually close to the mark

For a single statistic to be the primary propaganda weapon for a radical political movement is unusual. Back in 1977, the US National Gay Task Force (NGTF) was invited into the White House to meet President Jimmy Carter’s representatives – a first for gay and lesbian groups. The NGTF’s most prominent campaigning slogan was “we are everywhere”, backed up by the memorable statistical claim that one in 10 of the US population was gay – this figure was deeply and passionately contested.

Related: Gay Britain: what do the statistics say?

The proportion of people with same-sex experience is higher than the proportion who identify as gay and bisexual

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Cern's Large Hadron Collider restarts with sights set on dark matter

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-04-05 07:22

Cern confirms successful restart of world’s largest and most powerful atom smasher following upgrade, raising hopes of a ‘new era for science’

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Why scientific truth may hurt

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-04-05 07:00

The underlying realities of the world – from Earth’s rotation around the sun to Darwin’s theory of evolution – are rarely obvious or expected

All is not what it seems. Much of the universe – from the unimaginably small to the cosmological – is not how it appears to us, and our view is lamentably limited. The Earth’s rotation around the sun has been accepted for less time than it was not, and we still don’t yet know what makes up most of the cosmos. The knowledge that all life is built of cells is less than two centuries old, that all life is encoded in DNA has been known for just 50 years. When Darwin came up with evolution by natural selection, his loyal ally TH Huxley exclaimed “How extremely stupid, not to have thought of that!”

But evolution is not obvious at all, and it took thought and experiment and hard tenacious graft to reveal that truth. The real structure of the universe – the atomic, subatomic and quantum – was concealed from our eyes for all but the tiniest fragment of our tenure on Earth. We humans are awful at perceiving objective reality. We come with inbuilt preconceptions and prejudices. We’re dreadful at logic, and see patterns in things that are not there, and skip over trends that are. We attribute cause and agency to chance and coincidence, and blame the innocent as the root of all manner of evil. We use the phrase “common sense” as an admirable quality for scrutinising the world in front of us.

Our senses and psychology perceive the world in very particular ways that are comically easy to fool.

Related: Why racism is not backed by science

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Clouds obscure 'blood moon' total lunar eclipse for many Australian viewers

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-04-05 05:42

Internet helps those in cloudy areas see rare lunar eclipse that turned moon red for a few minutes on Saturday night

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Melody on the menu: how a sprinkle of Mozart might give your meal zing

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-04-05 00:04
Psychologists have found that colours and certain types of music can enhance the enjoyment of wine and food Continue reading...







Categories: Science news

Who said the camera never lies?

New Scientist - news - Sat, 2015-04-04 16:00
Devices that can alter the lighting or even the angle of a shot after it's taken will alter our relationship with photography







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Is imagery the real key to marketing outrage?

New Scientist - news - Sat, 2015-04-04 13:00
From utopian atomic cities to environmental disasters, two books explore the power of social and environmental imagery when it comes to selling ideals







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An alternative 13 best books about science?

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-04-04 12:12

What books do you think people should read to understand science - not just its content, but also its history and place in society?

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After 350 years of academic journals it’s time to shake things up

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-04-04 11:05

Writing and reviewing journal articles is part of the core business of a scientist. But it’s not an efficient way to communicate research results.

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A tiny hamsters' Easter

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-04-04 10:39

Just in time for “Caturday”; we watch two dwarf hamster sisters share their Easter holiday preparations with us

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Tooling Up: Civic visions, FabLabs, and grassroots activism

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-04-04 08:23

Making is political. What happens when city authorities get involved?

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'Blood moon' total lunar eclipse to make short appearance on Saturday

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-04-03 19:59
  • Total lunar eclipse to last four minutes and 43 seconds – shortest in a century
  • Most visible in western US and Australia with partial view in New York
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There's no such thing as a sex drive

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-04-03 18:00
Misguided notions about our sexual appetites are missing the bigger picture and making people unhappy, says Emily Nagoski







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Technology was absent from the leaders' debate – but it is key to the UK's success

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-04-03 16:20

The UK could harness technology for a bright, economic future. If the leaders realised, it would breathe much-needed optimism into a stale political arena

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UK government scientists must be free to talk to media

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-04-03 14:00
As we tackle issues such as climate change, new rules tightening the access government researchers have to the media will harm public trust, says Jodie Ginsberg







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Only Farage can save our precious bodily fluids from HIV

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-04-03 13:16

Nigel Farage is like a host who charges guests for using too much loo roll.

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Feedback: Death meets his maker

New Scientist - news - Fri, 2015-04-03 12:00
Egregiously exotic expertise, probiotic fog of confusion, a Guild of Thieves promotion and more (full text available to subscribers)







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Destroyed Snowden laptop: the curatorial view

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-04-03 08:35

The Snowden MacBook, destroyed in the basement of the Guardian, is on display at the V&A. Rebekah Higgitt asked some experts for their opinion of this unusual and provocative display of technology

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Steven Weinberg: the 13 best science books for the general reader

Guardian Science - Fri, 2015-04-03 07:00

The Nobel laureate on making science accessible – from Ptolemy to Darwin to Dawkins

If you had a chance to ask Aristotle what he thought of the idea of writing about physical science for general readers, he would not have understood what you meant. All of his own writing, on physics and astronomy as well as on politics and aesthetics, was accessible to any educated Greek of his time. This is not evidence so much of Aristotle’s skills as a writer, or of the excellence of Greek education, as it is of the primitive state of Hellenic physical science, which made no effective use of mathematics. It is mathematics above all that presents an obstacle to communication between professional scientists and the general educated public. The development of pure mathematics was already well under way in Aristotle’s day, but its use in science by Plato and the Pythagoreans had been childish, and Aristotle himself had little interest in the use of mathematics in science. He perceptively concluded from the appearance of the night sky at different latitudes that the Earth is a sphere, but he did not bother to use these observations (as could have been done) to calculate the size of our planet.

Philosophical Letters (1733) Voltaire

The Origin of Species (1859) Charles Darwin

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