Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hawking his wares

There was a rather good interview on the Today programme this morning with Stephen Hawking covering the nature of god, non-stick frying pans, interstellar travel and the role of scientists in modern society. It was a good interview and I definitely recommend making some time to listen to it. And as a bonus, the interview was followed up by a celebration of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

The Today programme was presented from the Royal Society today with a focus on science and scientists, which I'm pleased about, since I have moaned about the lack of interest and knowledge of science by BBC News in the past.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Humphreys in Search of God

For the past few weeks, I've been listening to John Humphreys interviewing major religious leaders, asking them why he should believe in their god. I thought this was an excellent series, with Humphreys displaying all of the intelligence and fire that make him an interviewer to be reckoned with. He pushes all the interviewees hard, particularly Rowan Williams and Tariq Ramadan (I thought he was a bit soft on Jonathan Sacks, actually) and rarely lets them get away with any mumbo-jumbo. The series is definitely worth listening to, and the website has extended interviews and transcripts as well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fusion in the mainstream

I was surprised and quite pleased when I turned on the Today programme this morning to hear that the lead story in the news about ITER. Although agreement on ITER had been agreed in principle some time ago, the formal deal was signed in Paris today, which is what the media were reporting on. It's pleasing to see the mainstream media finally take notice of a technology that I think will be very important for world energy needs over the coming century.

The Today programme even followed up on the story in their featured interview pulling in a chap from Friends of the Earth to argue against it. Well, that's unfair, he was actually saying that fusion is a long-term investment and that the money would be better spent in the short term on renewables. I can see where he's coming from on that, and I believe that investment in renewable energy is woefully lacking, but I still think that the money going into ITER and other fusion projects is well worth the investment.

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