The last interview with John Nash
When my friends at the Norwegian Academy of Science asked me to interview the winners of the 2015 Abel Prize, I said yes, of course. They are very, very nice people and more than that, I love Norway. What’s not to like? The problem for me was that the Abel is one of the world’s great math prizes and I am shamingly bad at math. Continue reading The Abel Prize
I love tulips. I can enthuse about almost any sort, except those funny ones with fringed petals. Some people treat tulips like annuals, digging them all up once they have flowered which gives you the luxury and fun of choosing a whole new colour scheme next year. Fine plan but it comes expensive, not to mention time consuming. So I’ve been looking for tulips that you can leave year to year.
Continue reading Tulips. I love ’em
How gorgeous are these girls? All are dwarf iris and all named after girls which seems appropriate as we come up to International Women’s Day. Katharine Hodgkin, the unmistakeable pale blue and yellow, Lady Beatrix Stanley (that mass of mid blue) and Pauline, elegant in deep purple. The great plantsman, E B Anderson crossed two rare irises in the 1960s and named the stunning result after his chum Eliot Hodgkin’s wife. Katharine. The colours are so elegant, the patterns a joy – how wonderful to have something quite so beautiful forever bear your name.
Continue reading Girls, girls, girls
There’s something about freezing weather in February that has me rushing out to the greenhouse with packets of seeds, as if by doing so I could conjure up warmer weather.
Continue reading Bring on spring
I am making a film about proton beam therapy which is a highly advanced form of radiotherapy. Sometimes there are facts that stop you in your tracks. At the heart of the kit that hurls proton at tumours is something the size of a car which weighs as much as a Boeing 747. Huge gantries, each the size of a three storey house, house tubes down which protons are accelerated, guided by magnets. Continue reading Wonders of proton beam therapy
I’ve just had the joy of facilitating the 7th Heriot-Watt Crucible. The Crucible programme was begun by the innovation charity Nesta back in 2005. It brings together some 30 early to mid career researchers, all of whom have been identified as potential high flyers for three residential sessions helping them to communicate, collaborate in an interdisciplinary way and develop leadership skills. Continue reading The Crucible Programme