I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Science / Human Sciences

Science / Human Sciences

A Sharp Eye in the Wild

Diary of a Young Naturalist, by Dara McAnulty, Little Toller Books, 224 pp, £16, ISBN: 978-1908213792 Dara McAnulty first came to public notice about three years ago as a blogger writing about nature and conservation from his home in Fermanagh; at the time he was particularly keen on protecting hen harriers, a species of special […]

Freedom’s Just Another Word

There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that rock music was foundationally both socially liberal and economically neoliberal from the mid-70s onwards. The social liberalism may have been most evident in the music, the neoliberalism in the media infrastructures that carried it.

The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells

It’ll be forty degrees today in Alice Springs, in Australia’s Northern Territory, but it’s likely to go down to thirty-eight around midweek and then plummet to thirty-two in a fortnight’s time as autumn takes hold. But hey, what do I care? I don’t live in Alice Springs, I live in Dublin.

Work-Life Imbalance

If our humanist lives were organised around individualism, free markets, democracy and human rights, these, it is argued, are being undermined by information technology and bioscience, rendering the free individual ‘a fictitious tale concocted by an assembly of biochemical algorithms’.

Compassion, Empathy, Flapdoodle

Neuroscientific speculation has escaped from the laboratory and is now the rickety foundation for scores of bestselling, populist books. The sceptical writer and journalist Steven Poole has described the phenomenon as ‘an intellectual pestilence’ and ‘neurotrash’.

Christian Knowledge

There are many factors that made the Irish state that came into being in 1922 different from other nation states, not least that it was born out of colonial conflict, that its coloniser dominated the world capitalist system, that its coloniser was just across the Irish sea and that six northern counties had refused to join the new state.

Thinking Machines

Transhumanists want us to merge with machines and upload our minds, promising immortality and total freedom. Like millenarians through the ages, they believe we will soon bear witness to the raising of the dead and the life of the world to come.

Customised Care

What is known as precision medicine (PM) proposes the customisation of healthcare, with medical decisions, practices, and/or products tailored to an individual patient’s disease, in a process in which the “collateral damage” which sometimes ensues from treatment should be minimised.

Look, It’s Simple

At an early stage of a new popularising book on quantum physics a crucial paradox is introduced: that ‘the more we discover, the more we understand that what we don’t know is greater than what we know’.

Time to Listen

Mental function is immensely complicated and our understanding of it still in its relative infancy; in Ireland our first psychiatric institutions date back only to the early eighteenth century. Could it be that it is the human brain or mind, and not space, that is the final frontier?