2023 new year honours reward services to science

Chemists and others working in the chemical sector and related scientific fields are among those to have been recognised in the UK’s 2023 new year honours list. Astex Pharmaceuticals co-founder and chief executive Harren Jhoti, who was Chemistry World’s entrepreneur of the year in 2007, is awarded an OBE for services to cancer research and […]

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Benchtop machine automates synthesis of drug screening hits

Researchers in Switzerland have synthesised lead compounds using a compact, capsule-based instrument.1 The automated process is much more efficient than manual synthetic methods so could be used to streamline drug discovery campaigns. Drug discovery hinges on being able to explore vast amounts of chemical space. Virtual screening is an essential tool that allows drug discovery […]

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God made all things by measure, number and weight[1]

God made all things by measure, number and weight[1] The first history of science, history of mathematics book I ever read was Lancelot Hogben’s Man Must Measure: The Wonderful World of Mathematics, when I was about six years old. It almost certainly belonged to my older brother, who was six years older than I. This didn’t […]

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Martin Davis (1928–2023)

As I have mentioned more than once on this blog, I served my apprenticeship as a historian of science working for ten years in a major research project into the external history of formal or mathematical logic. During the semester, we held a weekly research seminar in which one or more of the members of […]

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Warming gold nanofilm can stop glasses fogging-up

A transparent antifogging coating for glasses and other lenses that works by selectively absorbing the infrared wavelengths in sunlight has been developed by researchers in Switzerland. The material, which heats the surface to prevent condensation, is readily scalable and durable and could solve many issues that plague current antifogging technologies. Fogging occurs when warm, moist […]

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Christmas Trilogy 2022 Part 3: Portrait of the Mathematician as a Pet Dog

The American science writer Kitty Ferguson wrote a fairly good double biography of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler titled The Nobleman and His Housedog. Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler: the Strange Partnership that Revolutionised Science (review, 2002). Tycho is obviously the noble but Kepler as a housedog? Isn’t that rather insulting? It would be if it wasn’t […]

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Christmas Trilogy 2022 Part 1: The amicable Isaac

There is a widespread popular view of Isaac Newton, the man, as an unfriendly cantankerous, argumentative, curmudgeonly nasty piece of work ready to start a slanging match at the drop of a bodkin, self-righteous, possessive, jealous, unable to accept any form of criticism. Summa summarum, not a nice person at all, in fact rather to […]

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It’s Trilogy time again

For those new to the Renaissance Mathematicus, we now enter a special time of the year with the Christmas Trilogy, during which I celebrate three #histsci birthdays, Isaac Newton on the 25 December, Charles Babbage on the 26 December and Johannes Kepler on the 27 December. For more details follow this link, also to link […]

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