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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

A Sharp Eye in the Wild

Seán Lysaght
Writing with passion and precision, the young naturalist Dara McAnulty combines an astonishingly high and precise level of knowledge about wildlife with a passion for the educative potential of discovering, through experience, how we fit into the natural world.
Jul 3, 2020, 08:05 AM

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.
Mar 14, 2019, 20:22 PM

Work-Life Imbalance

John Fanning
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’.
Nov 30, 2017, 18:54 PM

Compassion, Empathy, Flapdoodle

Seamus O’Mahony
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’.
Sep 3, 2017, 12:38 PM

Christian Knowledge

Tom Inglis
Sociology, as taught in late twentieth century Ireland, was a discipline in which there was no interrogation of power, no analysis of social class, no questioning of patriarchy, no theorising about the role of the state and, in particular, no examination of the power of the Catholic church.
Sep 2, 2017, 15:45 PM

Thinking Machines

Matthew Parkinson-Bennett
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.
May 6, 2017, 18:03 PM

Customised Care

Shaun R McCann
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.
Apr 5, 2017, 11:39 AM

Time to Listen

Liam Hennessy
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?
Mar 7, 2017, 11:52 AM

Look, It’s Simple

Brian Trench
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’.
Mar 7, 2017, 09:35 AM

A Postmodern Disease

Seamus O’Mahony
Up to 1 per cent of the population may have coeliac disease but many more have self-diagnosed themselves as gluten-sensitive. Is gluten sensitivity based on any scientific evidence or is it the product of a misalliance between academic medicine and commerce?
Feb 9, 2017, 09:24 AM

Webs of Meaning

Mary P Corcoran
We manage our existence largely by conferring meaning on the world around us. World views play a significant role in motivating humans to engage in purposeful actions and our beliefs and dispositions have a shaping role in the constitution of society, broadly defined.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:48 PM

There Shall Be Blood

Mary O’Doherty
Mentions of blood across the millennia are cited in a new medical history and the role of the microscope in the study of blood is recounted from the discovery of the lens itself through to early developments in its manufacture.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:45 PM

The Great Dying

John Bannigan
In the eighty-million-year time span from the mid-Permian to the mid-Jurassic periods, two massive extinctions occurred, as well as four of lesser magnitude. In the biggest of these, 250 million years ago, ninety-five per cent of existing plant and animal life perished.
Aug 30, 2016, 10:03 AM

Dum Spiro Spero

Seamus O’Mahony
Many patients with a debilitating terminal disease might, one would think, be glad to hear their time is short. Still, ignoring the statistics, oncologists will offer ‘hope’ and more treatment. Why, asks the old doctors’ joke, do coffins have nails? To keep the oncologists out.
May 5, 2016, 19:37 PM

A Little Lost

Thomas Christie Williams
When the first rough draft of the human genome was sequenced in 2000, President Clinton announced: ‘Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.’ Now it seems that the difficulties that lay ahead were underestimated.
Apr 1, 2016, 10:12 AM

Towards the Light

John Saunders
A diagnosis of schizophrenia was once regarded as ‘the kiss of death’. However we now know that with effective and multiple interventions people with even the most acute condition can make a significant recovery and contribute to their community as valued citizens.
Apr 1, 2016, 09:28 AM

Leading on Climate Change

Paul Gillespie
The outlook after the COP21 summit is certainly better than after Copenhagen in 2009. But there is still a mismatch between the EU’s declaration of climate leadership and the resources it devotes to exercising that with the huge states of China and India.
Mar 6, 2016, 12:54 PM

Doing The Locomotion

Iggy McGovern
Dubliner Dionysius Lardner couldn’t wangle a job at Trinity despite his remarkable gifts of clarity and exposition, but he was nevertheless a successful publisher in England and criss-crossed America, addressing huge audiences as one of the great scientific popularisers of his era.
Jan 6, 2016, 23:14 PM

From the Jungle to the Plain

Peter Kempster
To prosper, the solitary animals of the jungle must ruthlessly pursue their own biological priorities. The social animals of the plain have the same drives but their brains must also identify situations where group interests override individual ones, and act accordingly.
Feb 3, 2015, 11:17 AM

Below Extinction’s Alp

Seamus O’Mahony
‘The Hard Conversation’ is what happens when a doctor reveals to a patient the no longer avoidable truth. But perhaps society should also have a hard conversation about the limits of medical science and the desirability of providing not infinite life but a decent end of life.
Feb 3, 2015, 10:53 AM