One for Uriah

From a brief in today’s Times newspaper edition (4 Jan p 4):

A retired dentist aged 102 will become Britain’s oldest emigrant when he leaves Britain to start a new life in New Zealand. Eric King-Turner will leave his home in Titchfield, near Southampton, tomorrow with his wife, Doris, who is 87. He said: "If you want to do something, you should do it straight away while you can."

Changing your mind for science

The Edge Annual Question for 2008 is "What have you changed your mind about? Why?".

The Edge has asked 164 scientists and people in science-related professions to answer this question, and publishes their answers here. "When thinking changes your mind, that’s philosophy. When God changes your mind, that’s faith. When facts change your mind, that’s science. Science is based on evidence. What happens when the data change? How have scientific findings or arguments changed your mind?" Some contributors:

Philip Campbell, Editor of Nature, has changed his mind about the use of enhancement drugs by healthy people.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has changed his mind about the irrelevance of probability.

J. Craig Venter has changed his mind about the importance of doing something now about the environment.

Esther Dyson has changed her mind about online privacy.

Frank Wilczek has changed his mind about "the science formerly known as religion".

Alison Gopnick has changed her mind about whether imagination is real.

Oliver Morton has changed his mind about human spaceflight.

These and other interesting answers, by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Chris Anderson, Alan Alda, Linda Stone, Steven Pinker, Martin Rees, Freeman Dyson and many others can be read at the Edge "word question center", together with many other ideas, book suggestions and more.