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Simon Wren-Lewis, in his mainly macro blog, points out that there is a big disconnect between Conservative party words and action on climate change. Their words are vaguely green, and imply that they take climate change seriously. Their actions are not in the slightest bit green. In an earlier article, George Monbiot noted a part of the innocently […] Read more


A somewhat frequent criticism of common economic theories and frameworks is that they are isolated from real world concerns such as energy and resource constraints: that the concept of limited resources, and ideas like the second law of thermodynamics, simply don’t seem to affect the economics at all. You come across this criticism primarily at […] Read more

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Which is harder to understand, physics or earth system science?  Which is more important to get right? Which do film-makers try hardest to get right? Oliver Morton, on his Heliophage blog, says a lot of people, both film makers and film discussers, think getting physics right, or at least seeming to or trying to, is in […] Read more

It’s a commonplace that high-achieving women often suffer from the imposter syndrome — a belief that they do not deserve the success they have achieved. Athene Donald has some interesting posts about it in the context of academia. It’s also commonly observed that women tend towards self-deprecation. Sometimes it’s in jest, but not always. Lucy Kellaway […] Read more

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Last autumn I was at an actuarial event, listening to a presentation on the risks involved in a major civil engineering project and how to price possible insurance covers. It must have been a GI (general insurance), event, obviously. That’s exactly the sort of thing GI actuaries do. The next presentation discussed how to model […] Read more

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Implicit bias

There have been a number of blog posts in the last week or so about a study that looked at implicit (rather than explicit) discrimination in hiring practices. Both Jenny Rohm and Athene Donald have had interesting things to say. The abstract says Despite efforts to recruit and retain more women, a stark gender disparity persists within […] Read more

The title of this blog is a shameless crib from a recent blog of Athene Donald’s, in which she discusses the Equality Challenge Unit‘s annual survey of statistical information about staff and students in UK universities. […] overall 76% of professors are white and male. Such a lack of diversity cannot be healthy. The numbers of BME […] Read more

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I love the Guardian’s datablog. It consistently presents large quantities of data in interesting interactive ways. Yesterday it took data from the annual survey of hours and earnings, and presented it in three different ways: Choose a salary, and see how earnings for different jobs compare Choose a job, and see what the earnings are […] Read more

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If we are to deal with climate change, the price of carbon-intensive energy is going to have to rise, says Tim Harford. It makes sense. We have to reduce our energy use, and pricing is a good mechanism to help that along. Along the same lines, fuel duty is a Good Thing.

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Not there yet

Possibly my attention has been primed by Ada Lovelace Day, and another recent event, but I’ve been noticing a lot in the press recently about misogynism and other forms of discrimination. The impression I get is that the mainstream is becoming increasingly laddish, or failing to become less so. Women are speaking up about death threats and other […] Read more

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