On the Record

“We need our scientists today to be as celebrated and famous as our sportsmen and women, our actors, our business entrepreneurs.”


UK prime minister Tony Blair, speaking in Oxford, 3 November.

Number Crunch

1 number of scientists in Time International's 60 years of heroes (Andrei Sakharov, right)

9 number of musicians (John, Paul, George and Ringo, Maria Callas, John Lydon (left), Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Bono, Bob Geldof)



HOPE (Help Ohio Public Education) got four pro-evolution candidates elected to Ohio's board of education. And Dick DeVos, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Michigan who wanted 'intelligent design' taught in school, was trounced.


It sounds '70s retro, but astronomers at a workshop on Cool Stars heard of what might be the biggest magnetic flare ever. An outburst in the II Pegasi system spotted by NASA's Swift satellite was 100 million times more energetic than a typical solar flare.

Space-shuttle hootenannies

NASA is keeping the shuttle Discovery grounded over the New Year, because some of the shuttle's software cannot reset itself from 365 to 1. Rebooting is not a preferred option when in orbit.

Sources: The Times, New Scientist