Select Page


The world of scientific publishing is coming in for a lot of criticism these days, and rightly so in many cases. But are scientists not in some respects their own worst enemies, making rods for their own backs by custom and convention rather direct outright instruction?

La Ciotat

When Louis de Freycinet was looking for a suitable vessel for his round-the-world expedition, he rejected the first one that he was offered, but eventually found just what he was looking for in the French port of La Ciotat, near Toulon. A port with a more recent reputation that has nothing to do with shipping.

Rand and the Amerindians

Having dealt  with the question of slavery and its undeniable existence in the pre-Civil War United States, Rand backtracked to answer an earlier question from the West Point graduating class concerning the treatment of the Native Americans. If anything bad had been done to them, it was, according, entirely their own fault, for not obtaining clear title to the land they occupied, before the Europeans arrived. In any case, it was their treatment of the new arrivals that aroused her ire.

IGCP 710 and the case for a new PANCARDI

In the late 1990s the European Science Foundation, taking advantage of the new possibilities for scientific interchange and fieldwork in a Europe no longer divided by an Iron Curtain, sponsored an international programme known as PANCARDI within which geologists and geophysicists from the countries of the Carpathian and Dinaric orogens and the Pannonian Basin came together to exchange information and reach a better understanding of the evolution through time of that very complex region. Is it not time for a second such programme?