I’m a huge fan of post-publication peer review (PPPR). It’s the future of scientific publishing and it’ll be de rigeur – rather than a novelty – for the next generation of scientists. Because if that doesn’t happen, science and society are going to continue to suffer from gaping holes in the quality-control mechanism that is […]
“Volcanologists go to volcanoes for their field work, but meteoriticists never go to asteroids!” Shogo Tachibana is an associate professor at Hokkaido University and one of the key scientists on the team behind Japan’s new Hayabusa2 mission. As he talked, he plucked from a shelf in his office a small grey rock embedded in a […]
“It’s all down to Isaac Newton now. It’s down to the laws of physics.” As the world waited to hear whether a refrigerator-sized probe had landed on a comet’s surface, European Space Agency senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean spoke to the live webfeed in Germany. “If Isaac’s friendly to us, we’ll have a great landing,” […]
Every physicist has to know the joke about the dairy farmer. Seriously, if you don’t know it, you can’t call yourself a physicist. It really should be added to the IOP’s requirements for the accreditation of physics degrees. If you have such a degree, and none of your lecturers ever told you the joke, please […]
Last week, I suggested a collaboration between veterinary medicine and engineering. The graduate student in our School of Veterinary Medicine was interested in investigating how accurate the internet could be in tracking the progression of a disease. Meanwhile, the professor in Engineering was an expert in designing software that could extract trends from sources such […]
This is going to be a short post (for a change). First, you should read this by David Colquhoun. I’ll wait until you get back. (You should sign the petition as well while you’re over there). In his usual down-to-earth and incisive style, Colquhoun has said just about everything that needs to be said about […]
Yesterday saw the start of the Circling the Square conference at the University of Nottingham. This is a rather unusual meeting which has the lofty aim of bringing together social scientists, those in the arts and humanities, policy ‘wonks’ (for want of a better term), science communicators, and natural scientists (including physicists, of course) to […]
Back in 2005 the EPSRC International Review of Physics said: “The Panel observed that the majority of the internationally visible biophysics research is not conducted in physics departments”. This was a sentiment that resonated with the 2008 Wakeham Review, which remarked “physics students in many departments get regrettably little exposure, if any, to modern soft […]
At the end of March, the international scientific journal Nature published a paper announcing the discovery of a new dwarf planet in the outer reaches of our Solar System. This made a lot of people very excited. It also made a lot of astronomers very confused.
It’s our birthday: Physics Focus first began publishing a year ago today. Since then, we’ve run 78 articles from 27 different writers, and attracted more than 500 comments from readers. We’ve covered everything from supernovae to storytelling, and from nuclear to nonsense. Here are some of the highlights from our first 12 months.