COVID-19 and The Swiss Cheese Model

I’d not heard of the Swiss Cheese Model as a way for understanding risks and their management: “The Swiss cheese model of accident causation is a model used in risk analysis and risk management, including aviation safety, engineering, healthcare, emergency service organizations, and as the principle behind layered security, as used in computer security andContinue reading “COVID-19 and The Swiss Cheese Model”

Recent Chinese Achievements

I wasn’t aware of the tremendous scope of recent Chinese technical achievements and it was handy that someone had trawled the web to put this presentation together. Full article is here. I can’t find an original reference for this presentation (it came through social media). Google searches didn’t produce anything immediately but the content isContinue reading “Recent Chinese Achievements”

MIT Course On COVID And The Pandemic

I’ve been interested to take a (free) online course for a while now and was waiting for a subject that really engaged me. This one from MIT on a key topic of the day, COVID and the Pandemic, looks really good. The first lecture is up on the site with more to follow (the secondContinue reading “MIT Course On COVID And The Pandemic”

Giving Smart Answers Under Pressure

I recently decided to sell my vinyl collection, lovingly kept for years. The traditional hi-fi takes up too much space, changing sides of albums is a chore and (the way it’s set up) it’s primarily for just one room. I now find Sonos and Spotify (and others) a much more flexible and convenient arrangement. I’mContinue reading “Giving Smart Answers Under Pressure”

Revisiting Imperial College London

The main entrance to Imperial College London Recently I went to Imperial College to hear an Athena lecture by Margaret Heffernan on Scientific Leadership. This lecture is given annually by a prominent female scientist or entrepreneur to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and medicine. It should be on YouTube soon and I’llContinue reading “Revisiting Imperial College London”

Risk versus Uncertainty

From the FT recently, on the difference between risk and uncertainty, and its implications: “It (the distinction) was first made back in 1921 by the University of Chicago economist Frank Knight. Risk, he said, is something we can quantify, as when we say there’s a one-in-six risk of a die rolling a one. Uncertainty, however,Continue reading “Risk versus Uncertainty”

Feynman and Climbing Mont Blanc

Poster for a current Caltech Archives special exhibition on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Richard Feynman’s birth (1918-1988) I’ve written previously (see here) on how the famous physicist Richard Feynman figured out how to get out of a creative block that occurred after his initial revolutionary successes (for which he was awarded theContinue reading “Feynman and Climbing Mont Blanc”

Grand Challenges and Anticipating the Future

I met up with a colleague recently who works in the transport area and she recommended I take a look at a couple of articles including (for general context) the UK Innovation Strategy. The document detailing this (published in Nov 2017) can be found here, including: “As well as setting a path to improved productivity,Continue reading “Grand Challenges and Anticipating the Future”

Inspiring Questions

I started my career as a research physicist and later moved into the commercial R&D sector. However I still keep in touch with various friends who stayed in academia. Now and again I’m tempted to take a look at research papers from people I knew just to get a feel for things (there is anContinue reading “Inspiring Questions”

Selling The Future

From Seth Godin: When we buy a stake in the future, what we’re actually buying is how it makes us feel today. We move up all the imagined benefits and costs of something in the future and experience them now. That’s why it’s hard to stick to a diet (because celery tastes bad today, andContinue reading “Selling The Future”