Science is the new Rock & Roll

Brian Cox

Lucy will be hunting down Professor Brian Cox at the Festival this year

It’s summer time. Birds are singing, trees are swaying, swathes of students everywhere are working, panicking, sitting resit examinations or enjoying their brief moments of respite before hitting the books again in September. Most of us are procrastinating.

I am trying desperately to think of a cool way to introduce myself to Professor Brian Cox. Perhaps a witty physics-related joke, or a novel way of inserting my field of study – biology – into something he’s talking about. Unlikely. I have to be prepared, though, just in case I run into him. Continue reading

How the zebra got its stripes

Have you ever noticed how regular nature can be; that there are patterns hidden everywhere? Sea shells have a nice spiral pattern, trees show subtle fractal patterns, and some plants have their petals arranged in a very specific way. But some patterns are a lot more obvious. Take the zebra for example, the black-and-white striped cousin of the horse. Continue reading

Living in a material world

Energy can never be created or destroyed. Instead, we convert it from one form to another. We convert electrical energy to heat energy in our toasters and we convert wind energy to electrical energy using wind turbines. But what about the energy that our own bodies produce, is there an efficient way of harvesting it?

We eat our dinners, which are digested into their basic components (sugars, carbohydrates, proteins etc.) to produce chemical energy. We then convert this chemical energy into useful energy to go about our everyday lives. Continue reading