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I posted on 13th June about the Manchester event at The Gorilla on Saturday 20th July, 7-10pm where I have been invited to speak.


The organisers of The Universe Explained state:
Both artists and scientists are explorers. There has never been more public interest or more scientific progress in understanding the fundamental workings of the universe but at the same time the concepts are extremely complex and occasionally bewildering to the lay person. They are also intrinsically fascinating and inspirational to artists. This is an attempt to translate the complexity and express the wonder through a variety of art forms.  This is public engagement with a difference.

I have the cover story on New Scientist (Issue 2924) this week:

“Did a nuclear time bomb deep inside the young Earth tear the planet apart? The evidence could be staring down at us every night

Last week I enjoyed two events that brought together the arts and sciences. On Monday I spoke for the London Salon beneath awe inspiring Rubens paintings in a vast and lofty room at The Banqueting House in London's Whitehall. The other speakers and I had to pretend it was 1649 and indeed Oliver Cromwell was in attendance (courtesy of Past Pleasures Ltd). The paintings, commissioned by Charles I to deify his father James I, were explained to us by Brett Dolman from the Historic Royal Palaces; we listened to music from the era, described by cellist and historical DJ Jane Cockcroft and Oliver Cromwell told us how Charles I's stubborn nature had brought about his own execution and why we must all return to more sober and responsible ways.



Here's a podcast made during the evening

I have a new story over on the Guardian's Across the Universe blog:


Nasa's Cassini spacecraft will take an image of Earth from 1.44bn kilometres away. From there, our planet will look like the expected images of alien earths around other stars

There's a new post on my Guardian blog, Across the Universe.


Black holes contain the keys to a deeper understanding of the universe. So finding 26 in our neighbouring galaxy is a big deal.

I have a new post on the Guardian online Across the Universe


It's been said that Neil Armstrong embodied the American dream: coming from a small Ohio town to be the first man on the Moon. As the inhabitants of Langholm, Scotland, know he came from a lot further than that

On Friday evening 20th July a very special event mixing punk and science will take place in Manchester at



 M1 5WW


I've been asked to contribute to the science bit despite the fact I'm a prog not punk rocker!  It's called The Universe Explained and purports to make easy all of Space and Time through Art, Film, Performance and Punk Rock. If nothing else this venture promises to be highly entertaining and I am all in favour of making science fun. I love the way the poster is illustrated with a cupcake claimed to be from the canteen at CERN. The evening kicks off at 7 and runs until 10 o'clock.

I have a new post on my Across the Universe blog for the Guardian :

Nasa's Opportunity rover is celebrating 10 years on Mars by finding its best evidence yet: that the planet was once habitable

I have a second post this week on my Across the Universe blog for the Guardian :

Nasa's Curiosity rover is approaching the biggest turning point of its mission so far. Soon it will begin the year-long drive towards its primary objective: Mount Sharp

I have a new post on my Across the Universe blog for the Guardian :

Nasa data shows radiation doses would be so high on a manned Mars mission that we must now debate the ethics of deep space exploration – or wait decades to develop safer technology



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