Monthly Archives: August 2017

Poisonous progress

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Chemist Thomas Midgley insisted that tetraethyl lead was safe Leaded petrol was safe. Its inventor was sure of it. Facing sceptical reporters at a press conference in October 1924, Thomas Midgley dramatically produced…

Alps melting?

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Rocks and debris cascaded down the mountain to the edges of Bondo village A massive rockslide in Switzerland’s Val Bondasca was not a complete surprise. Many parts of Switzerland, two thirds of which is mountainous,…

Terraforming Earth

Image copyright Stuart Hay/ANU Image caption The biomolecules were contained in oil extracted from deeply buried rock A planetary takeover by ocean-dwelling algae 650 million years ago was the kick that transformed life on Earth. That’s what geochemists argue in…