Tom Chance

Viewing: Science

Do the ‘population doesn’t matter’ arguments stand up to their own evidence?

By on 3rd November 2013

At the Green Party autumn conference, I attended an early morning panel discussion on population. I wrote about this in a recent blog post, describing the debate between a representative fromĀ Population MattersĀ and Sebastian Power from the Green Party. I also

What is the population question?

By on 28th September 2013

The population debate rumbles on. David Attenborough crashed back into the debate with a pretty crass set of remarks about not sending food aid to places struck by famine, earning lots of impassioned responses. The activist-comedian Robert Newman wrote an

On migration, population and ecology

By on 30th July 2013

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett recently took a strong stance on migration, warning of the dangers that the other parties risk when stoking up public anger about population. She rightly suggested that we shouldn’t blame migrants for problems with the

Ignoring the carbon deficit

By on 16th July 2013

Here’s another message I have sent to the Today programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4. For readers unfamiliar with the programme, it is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs programme. But the substance of this message is an all-too-frequent

My complaint to the BBC

By on 17th May 2013

The BBC broadcast a report today by Roger Harrabin entitled “has global warming stalled?“. You can follow the link to listen to the piece. I don’t often submit formal complaints, but I think the framing of the issue is so

Ben Goldacre’s Bad Evidence

By on 2nd January 2013

Ben Goldacre’s interesting programme on evidence-based policy making went out yesterday evening. Like so much of his work, I found myself alternately agreeing vigorously and disagreeing in exasperation. The trouble is not what he does say, but what he doesn’t.

Rothamsted: things I’ve learned, things I want to know

By on 26th May 2012

In the days since I wrote my first blog post on the Rothamsted GM wheat controversy I’ve spent more time reading up on GM than in the past nine years. It’s been a tortuous few days for me. As a

The Rothamsted Wheat Trial (should Greens trash it?)

By on 22nd May 2012

Genetically modified food is one of those subjects that’s not known for reasoned debate. The public and anti-campaigners are often spooked by the Frankenstein weirdness of splicing genes without really understanding the science. Scientists and proponents are often convinced of

Don’t be such a scientist

By on 11th March 2010

It’s unhappily easy for our earnest efforts to fall on deaf ears, especially if (like me) you’re a bit of an egg-head. It would be lovely if people listened attentively to our reasoned arguments, but any academic psychologist could tell

Might eco-nagging encourage more shopping?

By on 11th January 2010

Here’s another reason not to try and terrify people out of conspicuous consumption, aside from the basic flaws in the “eco angel” approach and recent evidence that moralising is putting people off ethical consumerism. Some interesting research by Swiss psychologists