Public Safety

In the United Kingdom, they were earlier to embrace offshore wind turbines. Now they face a critical environmental, economic, and energy challenge; how to get rid of them. And that is a problem about to hit all of Europe. In the early 2000s, the UK embraced offshore wind turbines as a way to offset their CO2 emissions and, like most confirmation bias events, refused to see the data right in front of their eyes. Wind power deserves basic research, but not government subsidies and mandates. It didn't work 200 years ago any more than having a garden meant you could feed a city and very little…
If you ask even the mode ardent Parisian anti-vaxxer about a COVID-19 vaccine, almost all will want to take it. While measles was claimed to be a philosophical debate about choice, SARS-CoV-2 can clearly kill people and a lot of distrust of medicine and chemicals evaporates when a real problem occurs. Until then, we have masks and social distancing, but what about an "immunity passport" for people immune to COVID-19 and unlikely to catch or spread the disease? That's a philosophical debate but also a science one. From a science perspective, immunity may not mean what the public thinks it does…
Coronavirus is back in large numbers across Europe. Since governments began to lift lockdowns at the start of the European summer, positive cases of COVID-19 have been steadily increasing in countries that previously had the spread of the disease under control, including Spain, France, Italy and Germany. In recent days, France has recorded its highest daily tally of the new cases since the height of the pandemic in April, while Spain faces the continent’s most significant resurgence in infections. In the UK, certain areas have been placed into local lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus,…
Children account for only a small proportion of confirmed cases of COVID-19 but it was unknown if this was due to low levels of testing. Now the answer is shown. To compare disease trends in adults and children during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in England between January and May 2020, researchers reviewed COVID-19 test result data for this period. The data included NHS and Public Health England (PHE) test results plus those carried out by family doctors at 300 general practices contributing to the Royal College of General Practitioners monitoring system for flu-like illness.…
It would be a brave person who tried to argue that the UK government, over the past several years, hadn’t shown a kind of systemic ableism in its attitudes towards and policies dealing with disabled people. This ableism is reflected in wider societal and media-based discourses in the UK. Over the past few months in particular, the government’s dealings with deaf citizens and the media coverage of deaf people and British Sign Language (BSL) during the coronavirus pandemic has again shown this entrenched ableism and caused immense frustration and anger. Media exposure for deaf communities in…
Should you wear a face mask when you leave your house? It’s the question no one seems to agree on. In France, the government originally said masks were unnecessary, but this week has made it mandatory to wear them on public transport and in secondary schools and is distributing masks through supermarkets and pharmacies. The UK government says it is still considering evidence on mask-wearing and is holding out on a recommendation, yet Scotland has already recommended that people cover their faces when in public spaces. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a security guard has been shot and killed in a…
Airplanes have a reputation for spreading germs and it makes sense when there are 150 people in a small tube with recirculating air 16 inches from each other for extended periods. But some risks are more than others. The tray table you eat on likely has more risk of disease than the bathroom. It's a SARS-CoV-2 world so people are thinking about an increased risk for contagions in a way few did during previous recent coronavirus pandemics like SARS or MERS. A new paper tackles the problem using pedestrian dynamics.  Scientists have long used the SPED (Self Propelled Entity Dynamics) model, a…
Hunters say that if someone new wants to begin hunting, they will take them out to get a turkey. While a human might have sympathetic notions about a rabbit or a deer, no one ever cried about killing a turkey. That may explain why 14 eco-terrorists who invaded a farm, cost the lives of over 1,400 turkeys, and were charged with aggravated robbery, obstruction, violation of home or property degradation got away with no jail time at all. The prosecutor had requested from six months to two years jail time for the crime Boucherie abolition clearly committed but the judge instead gave them short…