Science in Our Digital Age

A Little History Of Science: Science in Our Digital Age The next time you switch on your computer, you probably won’t ‘compute’. You might look up something, email your friends, or check the latest football score. But computers were originally machines that could only compute – calculate – things faster or more accurately than our … Read more

The Big Bang

A Little History Of Science: The Big Bang If a film of the history of the universe had been made, what would happen if you ran it backwards? At about five billion years ago our planet would disappear, for this is when it probably formed, from the debris of our solar system. Keep going back … Read more

Reading ‘the Book of Life’ – The Human Genome Project

A Little History Of Science: Reading ‘the Book of Life’ – The Human Genome Project Humans have about 22,000 genes (the exact number is history in the making). How do we know this? Because scientists in laboratories all over the world collaborated on the Human Genome Project. This hugely ambitious project counted our genes by … Read more

Building Blocks

A Little History Of Science: Building Blocks As time went on, scientists tended to specialise in their chosen fields. Still, biologists traditionally did biology, chemists did chemistry and physicists did physics. So what was happening in the 1930s, when first chemists, and then physicists, decided it was time for them to take on the problems … Read more

Wonder Drugs

A Little History Of Science: Wonder Drugs There may be five million trillion trillion bacteria on earth. That’s 5 × 1030 or 5 with thirty noughts after it – an astounding number. Bacteria can live almost anywhere on earth: in the soil, the oceans, deep underground on rocks, in Arctic ice, in the boiling water … Read more

Where Did We Come From?

A Little History Of Science: Where Did We Come From? Today we know that we share 98 per cent of our genome with our closest animal relatives, the chimpanzees. That’s an awful lot of similarity, but there are some crucial differences. While chimps do communicate they don’t talk together as humans do. And we can … Read more

What Do We Inherit?

A Little History Of Science: What Do We Inherit? Who do you look most like – mum or dad? Or perhaps a grand- father or aunt? If you are good at football or play the guitar or flute very well, does someone else in your family have these characteristics too? It has to be someone … Read more

Moving Continents

A Little History Of Science: Moving Continents Earthquakes are deadly and terrifying. Deadly because of the wholesale destruction they cause, terrifying because the earth should not move beneath our feet. And yet it does, all the time, if mostly unseen and unfelt. Like so much of science, understanding the earth’s structure is about measuring the … Read more

The Game-Changer: Einstein

A Little History Of Science The Game-Changer: Einstein Albert Einstein (1879–1955) is famous for his shock of white hair and his theories about matter, energy, space and time. And the equation E = mc2. His ideas might be frighteningly hard to under- stand, but they changed the way we think about the universe. He was … Read more


A Little History Of Science: Radioactivity Have you ever broken a bone, or swallowed something by mistake? If so, the chances are you had an X-ray so a doctor could see inside your body without having to open it up. X-rays are routine today. At the end of the nineteenth century, they were a sensation. … Read more