sat 24/06/2017

science

DVD/Blu-ray: Minute Bodies - The Intimate World of F Percy Smith

F Percy Smith was a maverick film-maker whose most important work was created in a house in suburban Southgate, North London. Born in Islington in 1880, he joined the Quekett Microscopical Club as a teenager, all the better to pursue a healthy...

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Life of Galileo, Young Vic review - shared-experience Brecht is powerful, timely

Never mind breaking the fourth wall, Joe Wright and the Young Vic have smashed the other three as well. This isn’t simply because their engaging production of Life of Galileo, demonstrating the struggle between science and prevailing authority, is...

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Sunday Book: Henry Marsh - Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery

Is it true that the blob of jelly resembling convoluted grey matter that we carry around in our skulls is really what we are? And how we are, and why? This is the profound question that is obliquely omnipresent in Henry Marsh’s second book on his...

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Artist Tyler Mallison: 'I don’t think about materials as being merely visible objects or things'

Artist and curator Tyler Mallison has chosen the world’s most generic title for his current exhibition. It's called New Material, and the surprising thing one discovers is that the hackneyed "new" really can be quite fresh. Sculpture and painting...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Creeping Garden

The creative, organisational and intellectual properties of slime mould are outlined in loving detail in Tim Grabham and Jason Sharp’s engaging documentary The Creeping Garden, though even this peculiar organism seems a little colourless when...

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Sunday Book: Daniel Levitin - A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics

Daniel Levitin makes one reference to Donald Trump in this book (to the latter’s claim to have seen on TV “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in Jersey City cheering when the Twin Towers fell) but he couldn’t have known quite how apposite these...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Lo and Behold

Werner Herzog isn’t visible in his documentary Lo and Behold but he’s a constant throughout, his sonorous, quizzical tones an ideal counterbalance to some of the more scary talking heads he encounters. In essence the film doesn’t tell us anything we...

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Westworld, Series 1 Finale, Sky Atlantic

Anyone who expected a simple robots-versus-humans confrontation, like in Michael Crichton's original Westworld movie from 1973, had another think, or bunch of thinks, coming. The final episode of the Jonathan Nolan/JJ Abrams Westworld was more like...

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Sunday Book: Carlo Rovelli - Reality Is Not What It Seems

Scientists today tend to patronise the early Greek philosophers who, 2500 years ago, inaugurated enquiry into the nature of things. The Atomic Theory? A lucky guess, they allege. But Carlo Rovelli accords them, and especially Democritus, the key...

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Experimenter

If an authority figure ordered you to inflict pain on another person, to what extent would you comply? That is the subject of Experimenter, which focuses on Stanley Milgram's controversial obedience experiment. Unable to secure a theatrical run in...

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Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius, Science Museum

Was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), who straddled the arts and science in such a unique way, several hundred years before his time? Did the painter-inventor-engineer really draw the prototypes for, inter alia, the aeroplane, the motor car, the...

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DVD: The Martian

The flip side of the apocalyptic evolution-and-destiny concerns of Prometheus, Ridley Scott's previous foray across the Last Frontier, The Martian is a feelgood take on the theme of space travel. Having landed the first astronauts on Mars in 2029,...

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