O Occam's

By Grant Jacobs 29/08/2012

Occasionally science bloggers make it to the mainstream. I’ve been too busy lately to bring this news to you sooner but one of my favourite crowds of science bloggers have cornered space at British newspaper stawart The Guardian’s website.

Occam’s Typewriter clearly takes part of it’s name from the well-known principle of parsimony, Occam’s Razor. One of the things that drew me to OT, as it’s known to it’s regulars, is their tendency to mostly write about the daily life of science, the things impinging on science, rather than ‘explainers’, popular science articles or tilting at the latest nonsense.[1]

Don’t get me wrong, all those things have their place and I like them too. (After all, I write a fair bit of those!) But it’s lovely to have a more gently-paced place to go and discuss things that I guess we can call ‘daily issues’. The sort of thing you might amble down to the local and share over a pint or two.

Featuring at the Guardian now is a group blog, Occam’s Corner, the newsprint corner stand of Occam’s Typewriter. Those who’ve been to London will know what I mean.

Early efforts include:

Mars Curiosity: There’s nothing like a nuclear tweet to get people talking (Stephen Curry: What do Curiosity, the Hiroshima bomb, Brian Cox and a bunch of scientists and ex-scientists under the moniker ‘Occam’s Typewriter’ have in common?)

Found in translation: where do cures come from? (Jennifer Rohn: What’s the best way of doing research? Throwing money at bright minds or trying to solve a particular problem? Or is there a third way?)

A-level results not up to scratch? There are many paths into science (Erika Cule: If you’re worried about A-level results, it’s worth remembering that the ‘non-standard’ career path into higher education is more standard than you might think)

Where physics meets biology (Anthene Donald: Although science is often taught as if the disciplines were clearly separated, exciting things can happen when the boundaries blur)

How generous is the science budget, really? (Richard Grant: The numbers the government doesn’t want you to see)

The unsung heroes behind those big genomics breakthroughs (Richard Wintle: Sometimes the best way to do an experiment is to have someone else do it for you)

It’s great to see a little crowd of science bloggers poke their heads up in one of the major newspaper websites.

Head on over and check it out.[2]

Update: If you’re on twitter you can follow the #OccamC and #OccamT hashtags or @OccamT for Occam’s Corner (The Guardian) or Occam’s Typewriter (their stand-alone blog site).


1. When I meet Stephen in London, he said that approach was intentional. I had meant to ask what lay behind that, but our conversation went in another direction. Whatever the case, it makes it a nice place to hang out on-line.

2. I know I will, I’m a little behind on what they’ve been up to over there!

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