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.

Seamus O’Mahony

How Scientific Inquiry Works

Postmodern critics of science have sometimes argued that it is a ‘narrative’ like any other and cannot be privileged over other narratives, for example alternative medicine. A new book, written with careful, nuanced scholarship, reasserts the value of the scientist’s calling, of rigour in research and of the importance of evidence.

Words At Will

To get into the best English society, Oscar Wilde thought, one must either feed people or shock people. And so, while they fed him, he shocked them with his wit and insolence. And yet he managed for the most part to insult the English without offending them.

Licking Death

Cancer is a serious business, and also big business, particularly in the US. But ‘declaring war’ on it is like declaring war on death. Our own Irish Cancer Society has launched a ‘strategy statement’ that envisages a ‘future without cancer’, but it modestly concedes that ‘this may not be achieved in the lifetime of this strategy statement’.

The Big D

Christopher Hitchens was famously sceptical of the claims of religious thinkers, yet faced with dying he exhibited a defiant faith in the capacities of medical science to block the course of nature, a faith not sustained by much evidence.

Guilty Truant

A biography of the celebrated writer and director Jonathan Miller finds a man who has never forgiven himself for abandoning his first career in medicine.