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Halcyon actively monitors change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published later in 2023. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site in the coming months. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter in early 2023 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

What's Changing? - Science



Please see below selected recent science-related change.


See also:


March 2023

  • Scientists revived a 48,500-year-old virus in an effort to test the potential infectiousness of long-preserved diseases that are now being exposed by receding Arctic permafrost. Scientists may have reason to worry, as there’s a history of humans being infected by ancient illnesses previously hidden beneath the ice.
  • In his 1996 book The End of Science, John Horgan argued that scientists were close to answering nearly all the big questions about our Universe. Big Think asked, was he right? The theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder didn’t think so. As she pointed out, the Standard Model of physics, which describes the behaviour of particles and their interactions, is still incomplete as it does not include gravity. What’s more, the measurement problem in quantum mechanics remains unsolved, and understanding this could lead to significant breakthroughs.


February 2023


December 2022


June 2022


April 2022

  • When scientists unfurled the Human Genome Project in 2003, some 8% of genes were left unmapped. For almost two decades, they worked to develop the first truly complete map of a human genome, completing it in 2022. The Wall Street Journal noted that the this vital development may help solve some of the conundrums that vexed scientists over the previous 20 years. The map could also power new discoveries around human evolution and fresh insights into cancer, birth defects and ageing.


August 2021

  • Social media is often the target when we think about misinformation, but a paper by the University of Washington highlights how scientific papers, and indeed the news articles written about them, are not immune from criticism either. Attention is at the heart of the problem, as it’s fundamentally a scarce resource, so there is an inherent incentive for scientists, universities, and journalists to hype things more than is justified. Researchers today get their information and access the literature through search engines and recommender systems that can create a filter bubble. The pandemic may have also exacerbated the situation as the inherent uncertainty around the virus created an urgency for answers into which spurious claims could be put forth. 


July 2021


April 2021

  • Antiscience has emerged as a dominant and highly lethal force, and one that threatens global security, as much as do terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Scientific American warned that we must mount a counteroffensive and build new infrastructure to combat antiscience, just as we have for these other more widely recognised and established threats. Antiscience is the rejection of mainstream scientific views and methods or their replacement with unproven or deliberately misleading theories, often for nefarious and political gains. It targets prominent scientists and attempts to discredit them.
  • A subatomic particle is disobeying the laws of physics. The discovery may upend what scientists thought they knew about matter and energy, claimed Quartz. 


March 2021

  • The Economist described how sudden, concerted action against COVID-19 brought together decades of cumulative scientific progress. The spate of data, experiments and insights has had profound effects on the pandemic - and, indeed, on the future of medicine. Around the world, scientists put aside their own work in order to do their bit against a common foe. The first year of COVID-19 led to some 350,000 bits of research, many of them on preprint servers that made findings available almost instantaneously.
  • The Large Hadron Collider made another discovery. Nine years after proving the existence of the Higgs boson, scientists at CERN found evidence of a “brand new” type of particle.


January 2021



August 2020


June 2020

  • Science has never before been redeployed and advanced at such a rapid pace as during the coronavirus pandemic. Researchers accustomed to plodding their way through proposals, meticulous grant applications, and journal reviews have discovered they can mobilise and switch focus at high speed. They have picked up new skills, developed pandemic protocols, and upended their schedules. Now that these abilities have been unleashed, laboratories are unlikely to fully revert to old habits. If and when their coronavirus work is done, they’ll have an enormous backlog of still important research waiting for them, noted Quartz.


May 2020


April 2020

  • Tortoise Media notes that the flipside of populist aversion to experts is the arbitrary embrace of snake-oil cures and unscientific speculation. This seemed merely absurd - or it did until the most powerful man in the world actually suggested the injection of patients with disinfectant.


July 2019

  • According to a survey by The Atlantic, over the past century, society has vastly increased the time and money invested in science, but in scientists’ own judgement, we’re producing the most important breakthroughs at a near-constant rate. On a per-dollar or per-person basis, this suggests that science is becoming far less efficient. This suggests that it’s getting much harder to make important discoveries across the board. It’s requiring larger teams and far more extensive scientific training, and the overall economic impact is getting smaller. Taken together, these results suggest strong diminishing returns to our scientific efforts.


May 2019


December 2018


November 2018

  • China may have created the world’s first genetically modified babies. A Chinese researcher said that he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, resulting in twin girls whose DNA have been altered by CRISPR technology. CRISPR had previously only been used in plant and animal experiments, on adult cancer patients, or non-viable human embryos.


September 2018

  • There are roughly 20,000 genes in the human genome, but most research focuses on only about 10% of these, noted The Economist. This is partly because of a self-fulfilling cycle, in which the most-studied genes, and the scientists who study them, receive the most funding from agencies. But since understanding genes and the proteins they encode deepens our knowledge of diseases, scientists would do well to look at the lesser-known parts of the genome, the magazine added.


August 2018