The Evolution of Optimism

On finally facing the Enquiry Centre, I saw that it consisted of three parts, representing successive stages in its evolution. The oldest section exhibited the brutalist style typical of many British university buildings of the 1960s and early ’70s. McKean and Walker describe it as “a muscular medieval fortress”, and its concrete buttresses and small windows…

The Race for Better Science

It is no doubt a good thing that we hear of scientific fraud, academic plagiarism and medical malpractice in the name of research, but we would do well to remember that these are just sophisticated names for the eternal crimes of theft and assault. Can we really hope for better science if we can’t hope for better people?

Jet d’Eau

Falling unannounced into the city and armed only with a map from a hundred years ago, I set off, hoping to find in the city’s physical form clues to the origins of my own preferences and limitations. At the head of the rose angle, on stone plinths still bearing the stumps of railings long since…