String theory, homosexuality and intelligenceby Anjana Ahuja / March 22, 2010 / Leave a comment
Published in April 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
It should be a vintage year for the Edinburgh Science Festival, if the Malt Whisky Masterclass is anything to go by. The festival runs from 3rd to 17th April, hosting adults-only, big-name events—Richard Dawkins et al—as well as family extravaganzas. How they’ve shoehorned whisky into it is as much of a mystery as string theory, which will (allegedly) be explained by “The Rock Doctor” Mark Lewney, while riffing on a guitar: www.sciencefestival.co.uk
Ever since the philosopher Peter Singer asserted that an adult chimpanzee has a greater right to life than a newborn human, people have argued about whether homo sapiens deserves to be top species. In Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, out on 1st April, animal behaviourist Jonathan Balcombe asks whether we are fools to prize intelligence over sentience: www.jonathanbalcombe.com
All eyes will be on Bonn come 9th-11th April, to see if international agreement on measures to tackle climate change can be resuscitated after the disappointment of the Copenhagen summit. The extra session of UN talks, to be attended by 194 countries, was added after nations failed to agree in Denmark on a legally binding treaty to curb emissions.