Hurricane Sandy, sweeping the East Coast of the USA, has been predicted with great accuracy. The people in New York and surrounding areas were evacuated where necessary; the authorities gave a clear and unambiguous message and the loss of life has been minimal. Buildings have on the whole survived intact, a testament to building standards in New York State.
Make a comet in London; create a cloud in Italy or explore a volcano in the Canary Islands. It can only be European Researchers’ Night, back for the 8th year running in 350 European cities from Iceland to Cyprus, from Portugal to Turkey.
The UK Department of Health announced this week that the salt reduction programme introduced ten years ago is working. The average Brit consumes 1.5g less salt a day. With an average daily intake of 8.1g there is still some way to go to reach the target of 6.0g, but estimates suggest that around 8.500 lives are being saved as a result of this reduction.
Population growth and global consumption must be addressed urgently, says the IAP, the body representing the world’s 105 scientific academies. In a rare joint statement signed by all 105 bodies, scientists across the globe call for “urgent and coordinated action” to address “two of the most profound challenges to humanity”.
There has been a lot happening in the fight for open access in recent weeks. The Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest research funding bodies, has announced it will soon be launching a scientific journal eLife, which will compete with the most elite publications such as Nature and Science.