TED.com this week: science and morality, and the open data project

March 25, 2010

A couple of interesting videos are out on ted.com this week:

In the first, Sam Harris argues that science can answer moral questions, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life. See here for Open Parachute’s take on this talk.

And in the second, Tim Berners-Lee (creator of the world wide web) demonstrates what can be achieved when scientists, governments and institutions make their data publicly available on the web.  He mostly talks about mapping applications and it was particularly impressive to see how quickly publicly available map data was used in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.


Eye colour inheritance update #1

March 17, 2010

To update my post on the inheritance of human eye colour (as I’m sure you are all dying to know), the little monkey was born with dark grey eyes.  No surprises there as most newborns are born with eyes this colour.  Six weeks on, her eyes are taking on a distinct blueish tinge, with a slightly lighter ring around the pupil.  But there’s still a long way to go – final eye colour generally doesn’t develop until 6 months to 1 year of age so you’ll have to watch this space for a while yet!