The approval of ‘female Viagra’ is nothing short of a disaster

This article was originally published in the Spectator, and can be found here. Last week, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever drug targeted to enhance libido in women. Media outlets churned out adoring articles; the licensing of flibanserin, or ‘female Viagra’ as it rapidly became known, was hailed as…

What determines sexual orientation?

Earlier this year, a project backed by the Wellcome Trust set out to find “the most important question about life that science needs to answer”. After much consultation with scientists and the public, the panel selected the question: “is sexuality genetic?” Indeed, the puzzle of what causes homosexuality is one which scientists are used to…

Climate change is harming our health – urgent action is required

This article was originally published on the New Internationalist website, and can be found here. Tomorrow, over 120 world leaders, including Barack Obama and David Cameron, will gather in New York for a UN summit on climate change. The event, called by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, comes in anticipation of formal negotiations in Paris next…

GCSE results day reveals the sinister side of social media

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. — I vividly remember my GCSE results day. The school was late to open and, as I waited anxiously, my phone buzzed with text messages, Facebook posts and tweets from friends, curious to find out what grades I’d been awarded….

Being gay might not be “natural” – let’s stop arguing otherwise

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. Anyone who respects personal freedom and equality will surely be impressed by the gay rights movement. Recent years have brought much to celebrate; the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation, improvements in public attitudes towards homosexuality within the UK, and gay pride…

Ebola panic reveals the balancing act between patient freedom and social safety

This article was originally published in New Statesman, and can be found here. News of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has received worldwide press attention. The epidemic has caused more deaths than any other recorded Ebola outbreak, and has claimed 672 lives since February. Governments have good reason to be concerned; the Ebola virus has a mortality rate…

Alternative medicine could work – but that’s not reason to embrace it

This article was originally published in New Statesman, and can be found here. David Tredinnick MP, a member of both the science and technology select committee and the health select committee, made headlines last week for suggesting that astrology should be incorporated into medicine. This isn’t the first time the member for Bosworth has caused…

We must stop shying away from science and start scrutinising it

Last Monday, Newsnight was again dominated by furious debate about drug policy. Peter Hitchens made his first appearance on the programme since a previous controversial confrontation with Russell Brand and this time was joined by actor Matthew Perry. What followed received widespread attention and the video clip quickly clocked over 500,000 views on YouTube. The episode was concerning on…

The Science Delusion: has science become dogmatic?

This article was originally published in the Oxford Student newspaper. Scientist and author Rupert Sheldrake spoke to George Gillett after addressing an audience at the Oxford Union Rupert Sheldrake’s latest book, The Science Delusion, explores what Sheldrake describes as “the ten dogmas of modern science”. The claim seems radical at first – Sheldrake is questioning mainstream science beliefs…