Author Archives: Stephen

In the garden

What is it about living through a pandemic that has quelled the motivation to write? I suspect is may have something to do with the unstructuring of time, or rather its reduction through confinement to rhythms that bore through repetition. … Continue reading Continue reading

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For my mother

Black masked, weighed down by grey grief, We carried you into the church To be wrung out of our sodden farewells. But you had already gone. It was a slow journey to that sombre altar. In the last years the … Continue reading Continue reading

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A Reckoning with Huxley’s Legacy

Recognition and Redistribution for Imperial College’s Community This is a guest post by my former colleague, Dr Rahma (Red) Elmahdi, in which she lays our her reaction to the Imperial College History Report, and in particular the recommendation to rename the Huxley … Continue reading Continue reading

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The Huxley Question

Writing in The Observer a couple of weeks ago, Kenan Malik cast a sceptical eye over a report published by the history group at Imperial College that had been asked to reflect on “the current understanding and reception of the … Continue reading Continue reading

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To be or not to be exceptional?

I can’t remember how I came across this video from philosopher Alain de Botton, but I feel seen. Like many academics, I guess, I have always prized scholarly achievement. And of course, within our systems of research assessment, we are … Continue reading

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Books of 2020

I made what I think was a smart move at the beginning of 2020. Instead of waiting until the year’s end and then struggling to recall what I thought of the books I had read, I created a Twitter thread of … Continue reading

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Photographs of 2020

My computer tells me that I took over 2,400 photographs in 2020. Here are my favourites. I’m afraid I have failed to whittle them down to fewer than seventy-five. Click on the first image, taken on a winter walk on … Continue reading

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No, DeepMind has not solved protein folding

This week DeepMind has announced that, using artificial intelligence (AI), it has solved the 50-year old problem of ‘protein folding’. The announcement was made as the results were released from the 14th and latest competition on the Critical Assessment of … Continue reading

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Nature’s new open access option – a few first thoughts

A news article published online in Nature this morning discusses the announcement of new open access options in the Nature family of journals. The details are in the article, but the basic story (written by Holly Else) is that authors … Continue reading

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Teaching online: how to use an iPad as a whiteboard

Last week I gave my first online tutorials where I needed to scribble on a whiteboard and to show the students their exam scripts from last term, which has been posted to my home by the university. To solve both … Continue reading

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