The Objectivity Fetish

Interesting piece in the Grauniad today by Karen O’Donnell (a student of Prof Francesca), particularly interesting for the (male) responses in the comment thread. At the outset, I should say I’ve no idea why it is cast as a response to (the media myths of) the Jeremy Hunt debacle, other than the Grauniad audience-attention-grabbing motive, … Continue reading “The Objectivity Fetish”

We need each other.

I’ve been intending to dive into this Tim Hunt debacle, but the twitter storm is moving too fast for me to get a word in, so this is just a holding post – no extended argument here (yet). Science needs women? Doh! Which century are we in? Which geological period is Hunt in? All human endeavours … Continue reading “We need each other.”

The shunning of James Watson. Better to understand than to deny?

It’s pretty well known that following his joint discovery of the structure of DNA with Francis Crick (helped by Rosalind Franklin and Ray Gosling amongst others), James Watson made some dubious suggestions about racial differences based on DNA – disgraceful by today’s standards. It’s also quite likely as “men of their time” that Watson (and Galton, referenced) actually … Continue reading “The shunning of James Watson. Better to understand than to deny?”

Reflections on World Humanist Congress #whc2014 @BHAhumanists @NewHumanist @_CFIUK

I Wasn’t There – Earlier this year I attended the IAI’s How the Light Gets In festival and The Rationalist Association’s AGM to mention a couple of events, but I didn’t make plans to attend the WHC2014 organised in Oxford this weekend by the BHA. You see, I’ve had a bit of a mixed relationship with the … Continue reading “Reflections on World Humanist Congress #whc2014 @BHAhumanists @NewHumanist @_CFIUK”

Teaching Values

Coincidentally, I was in a  school earlier this week, interacting with Year 8’s and their teachers in a mixed city academy. (A “STEM” Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths event on National “Women in Engineering Day” – “awesome” was the feedback from the school incidentally.) I was very impressed with the staff (as well as with … Continue reading “Teaching Values”

Reading (& Writing) Catch-Up Jan 2020

Happy New Year everyone, just the one resolution here. Not posted since November and not read much either. Kinda(*) stalled I guess. Work got serious in a shift from planning & requirements gathering to funding & implementation, so I’m distracted by the day-job – in a good way, for all the right reasons – and … Continue reading “Reading (& Writing) Catch-Up Jan 2020”


I said, when reading Aldous Huxley back in 2007, that I was having trouble seeing the wood for the trees – what specific points Huxley was making – even though it was already a given that some kind of perennial philosophy is what we are dealing with in real life. Since before then my approach is … Continue reading “Perennialism”