The world’s population is expected to hit 8 billion people on November 15, according to the UN. Already this has prompted worry about whether there will be enough food, water and energy to support our growing population. While human activity is undoubtedly driving the climate crisis, population growth is a red herring.
A dominant view in science is that there is a mathematical truth structuring the universe. It is assumed that the scientist’s job is to decipher these mathematical relations: once understood, they can be translated into mathematical models. Running the resulting “silicon reality” in a computer may then provide us with useful insights into how the world works.
Two new omicron subvariants, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, are quickly gaining traction in the US, collectively accounting for 27% of infections as of October 29. Both are descendants of BA.5, the omicron variant that has dominated around the world for some months.
The 1999 cult classic film Office Space depicts Peter’s dreary life as a cubicle-dwelling software engineer. Every Friday, Peter tries to avoid his boss and the dreaded words: “I’m going to need you to go ahead and come in tomorrow.”
The Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for 2022 has been awarded to Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”.
On the wooded hill above the Stan Terg lead and zinc mine in Kosovo, there is an old concrete diving platform looming over what was once an open-air swimming pool. Before the break-up of Yugoslavia, people who worked at the mine would bring their families here to swim, sunbathe on the wide terrace with its view across the valley, and picnic among the trees. Now the pool is slowly disappearing into the forest, the view obscured by birch saplings.
Phil Tomlinson, University of Bath; Andrew Burlinson, University of East Anglia; Catherine Waddams, University of East Anglia; Donald Hirsch, Loughborough University; Jean-Philippe Serbera, Sheffield Hallam University; Jim Watson, UCL; Jonquil Lowe, The Open University, and Steven McCabe, Birmingham City University
UK chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has just launched the biggest package of tax cuts in half a century. This will involve around £45bn of reductions for people and businesses by 2027 – 50% more than anticipated before the mini-budget announcement.