New science-to-policy Centre of Excellence unveiled

A new centre of Excellence was launched in Stellenbosch last week focussing on Science and Research Policy. I wrote an article about it for SciBraai:

http://scibraai.co.za/new-science-to-policy-centre-of-excellence-unveiled/

Scientific ink slinger for hire – enquire within

The scientific writing process. Image Credit: David Plunkert

The scientific writing process. Image Credit: David Plunkert

As of April 1st, I have cut loose from the ties of salaried employment and dived into the exciting world of freelance writing. Crazy, I know. Since it’s only been a day, I’m not going to tell you about the experience so far. This is, in fact, a publicity exercise.  Continue reading

The state of SA patent law in the wake of PharmaGate

Fix the Patent Laws: TAC and MSF have formed the Fix the Patent Laws campaign to address patent law reform in SA. Big Pharma has other plans. Image Credit: Fix the Patent Laws. I do not own this image.

Fix the Patent Laws: TAC and MSF have formed the Fix the Patent Laws campaign to address patent law reform in SA. Big Pharma has other plans. Image Credit: Fix the Patent Laws. I do not own this image.

The SA government last year published a proposal for long-overdue patent law reform. A shady cabal of Big Pharma types promptly responded with a devious scheme to limit the changes through some kind of underhanded social engineering campaign. You’d be excused for thinking that this all sounds a bit like fiction. Continue reading

A Comet ISON crash course and status report

A recent composite image of Comet ISON captured by the TRAPPIST telescope in La Silla, Chile.

A recent composite image of Comet ISON captured by the TRAPPIST telescope in La Silla, Chile.

Comet ISON has been lighting up the science news world for the last couple of weeks as it approaches the Sun. Today and possibly tomorrow will be the last chance to see it in South Africa before it swings around the perihelion – the closest point to the Sun in its orbit. In the next few days, it will either break up or head out of the Solar system once again, visible only in the northern hemisphere. Continue reading