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December 2012

Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.
Guest blogger David Chapman explains why the geologists' love of beer is more than just a stereotype...

As Christmas approaches, I'm thinking of what trick I can perform for our dinner guests this year. Previous tricks include making water boil at less than 100°C, (not) burning a £10 note and making fast-food ice cream using liquid nitrogen. It's great fun and always results in our guests talking about science. I feature demonstrations in my own work and so I'm always on the hunt for new ideas.

By happy coincidence, the British Science Association has launched the first stage of Get Set... Demonstrate: A nationwide search for the most exciting, thought-provoking and wow-factor inducing science demonstrations. I think I've covered the principle adjectives there. As a former teacher turned presenter, researching a new demonstration, practising and refining it remains an essential aspect of my own professional development. It opens the mind to alternative ways of communicating and explaining scientific concepts. Furthermore, I really enjoy watching new takes on old ideas; different teachers and presenters often have their own interpretations of well-known demos.

by Katherine Mathieson

Last week I went to a delicious event. The Royal Academy of Engineering hosted a one-off event called ‘Tasty spoons and drinkable clouds: the art of engineering’. Two unusual engineers discussed their adventures with materials and flavour.

The British Science Association was saddened to learn of the death of Honorary Fellow, Sir Patrick Moore. Tributes have flooded in to the inspirational and eccentric presenter – with scores of renowned scientists remembering Sir Patrick as one of the earliest influences encouraging them to pursue a career in science.

by Katherine Mathieson

I usually find failure an embarrassing topic: to be discussed quietly among friends or even kept secret. But at Nesta’s Failure Fest on 22nd November, failure was to be shared, talked about – even celebrated.

by Dan Richards

The Skylon concept space plane has been designed a testbed for the new Sabre engine. Image credit: RELThis week has seen a UK company announcing the successful testing of an innovative new propulsion system, designed to propel a single vehicle into space almost as easily as a conventional airliner.