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Betelgeuse, the ticking bomb | Professor Alex Murphy

When a massive star reaches its red supergiant phase, we know that the energy available from fusion has almost run out. The sudden pressure drop leads to a massive explosion, so bright that it would rival the moon. We expect this to happen to Betelgeuse in the next 10,000 years.

What does World Ocean Day mean for Scotland? | Diana Murray CBE

Like other maritime nations, the wellbeing and national character of the people of Scotland have been greatly influenced by its coasts and waters ever since the first humans settled here. Yet, the marine environment remained very enigmatic with very limited knowledge until the late 19th century when marine science arose as a scientific discipline.

Alan Cumming wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera

Overcome your fears and embrace equality | Alan Cumming

I’m always perplexed by the way we talk about phobias. An arachnophobe is obviously terrified of spiders, but does that necessarily mean that they hate them? And far from hating open or crowded spaces, I am sure there are agoraphobes who yearn to be able to embrace them.

Liz Grant smiling for the camera

The climate crisis – Can compassion contribute? | Professor Liz Grant

The world is in a different place from 2015 – the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis has made the goals more urgent. We have almost all the science we need to make changes – renewable energy, biotechnology and biofuels, to name but a few. Yet, the biggest challenge we face this decade is how to bring about change in the hearts and mindsets of individuals, institutions and national systems. So, can social science help close the gap?

Stigmatisation in Mental Health | Professor Stephen Lawrie

What is the biggest mental health issue of the day? It’s not COVID – which most people with and without mental illness are coping with admirably. It is, as ever, the stigmatisation of mental illness and the underfunding of mental health services. The two are clearly related, and despite some improvements in recent years, there remains a long way to go.

Dr Poonam Malik posing for the camera

Beating the Femphobic Pandemic | Dr Poonam Malik

A recent report from the Scottish Government highlighted the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has had on a variety of groups, such as women, ethnic minorities, and low paid workers. So how can we prevent this pandemic from reversing the progress we have made towards workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion?

Sethu Vijayakumar standing next to a NASA humanoid robot

Robotics can lend a personal touch to human healthcare | Professor Sethu Vijayakumar

As a mathematician and roboticist, I have been lucky enough to work on many complex projects like developing algorithms for a NASA humanoid robot to balance, navigate and manipulate objects autonomously; in preparation for deployment on Mars. However, I am fascinated with the question of how the latest advances in my field can help tackle some of the biggest and most intriguing healthcare challenges of our generation.