Archive by date | September 2009

‘Time almost up’ for climate negotiations

‘Time almost up’ for climate negotiations

The head of the UN’s climate change body has attempted to light a fire under international negotiators ahead of the Copenhagen summit.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told those at a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand they would have to speed up the current “painfully slow” negotiations.

NSF quicker than NIH with economic recovery dollars

As the 2009 fiscal year comes to a close, the new director of the AAAS R&D budget and policy programme, Patrick Clemins, has put up a timely analysis of how three major science agencies — DOE, NIH and NSF — are doing spending the billions they were given in the Recovery Act funding associated with February’s economic stimulus package.  Read more

New vaccine scare following UK death

Britain is bracing for another health scare over vaccines after a 14-year old girl died following injection with a human papillomavirus jab.

Natalie Morton died on Monday after receiving Cervarix at a school in Coventry.

“The incident happened shortly after the girl had received her HPV Vaccine in the school,” Caron Grainger, joint director of public health for NHS Coventry and Coventry City Council (press statements). “No link can be made between the death and the vaccine until all the facts are known and a post mortem takes place.”

Quentin Blake’s Cambridge panorama

Quentin Blake’s Cambridge panorama

Cambridge University has unveiled a panorama of famous alumni commissioned from British illustrator Quentin Blake for its 800 year anniversary.

Blake, famous for his work on Roald Dahl’s books amongst other things, has incorporated a number of scientists into the ‘Cambridge Bayeux Tapestry’.

Quotes of the day

“From some sources we have learned that it is possible to extend the life of the shuttle beyond 2011. Then the situation would change substantially and it would be possible to work jointly with the Americans, unlike now, when the main burden lies with the Russian side.”

Russian space programme chief Anatoly Perminov says the US may be able to extend the space shuttle programme beyond 2011 in order to service the space station (RIA and Interfax, via Reuters).

“We continue to find new species of fish, primates and mammals, and nowhere else compares to the amount of large mammals that have been discovered in the region. It shows how little we know about species in the region.”

Barney Long, head of the WWF’s Asian Species Conservation programme, comments on the discovery of over 160 new species in the Mekong region (CNN).

“Why visit Rome to see ruins or Egypt to see mere piles of stones called pyramids, yet you can go to Bwindi and see your next of kin?”

Uganda’s Minister of Tourism Kahinda Otafiire appeals to tourists to visit and see the country’s gorillas (AP).

Songs about Science XXVII: sing a song of Sagan

The latest science song currently making electronic waves on the internet is this ditty, a mix of excerpts from the musings of astronomer and author Carl Sagan set over a downtempo backing track. ‘A Glorious Dawn’ even features a guest spot from Stephen Hawking.