Longreads Best of 2014: Science Stories


We asked a few writers and editors to choose some of their favorite stories of the year in specific categories. Here, the best in science writing.

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Virginia Hughes
Science reporter and soon-to-be science editor at BuzzFeed.

The Itch Nobody Can Scratch (Will Storr, Matter)

I’ve thought about this story (an excerpt from Storr’s book, The Unpersuadables) many, many times since reading it. It’s superficially about Morgellons, a disease in which people think that they’re infected with bugs or fibers. But it’s really about the nature of disease and diagnosis, evidence and belief. It’s creepy, fascinating, and profound. The best part about it is the way Storr describes these patients and their delusions. It would be easy to make them seem stupid or crazy or worse. But Storr’s writing creates empathy and understanding. The not-insignificant downside of this piece: it makes you feel itchy.

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Science of Christmas Competition


Merry Merry Christmas Years 7, 8 and 9.

Science Museum Prizes up for grabs if you can make it through my super difficult Science of Christmas Competition. Enter by downloading the document here- 2014 Science of Christmas Quiz – and completing the tasks therein.

To submit your entry you can do one of the following

  1. Type up your answers in the document. Save it as your name and form and email to kcritchley@nautical.lambeth.sch.uk
  2. Write your answers in the document, scan it and save the image as your name and form then email that to kcritchley@nautical.lambeth.sch.uk
  3. Write or type your answers in the document and hand it to me in person in Rm 111 before the end of the first day back after Christmas.

You’ll need a lot of help in the form of grown ups, friends, family, Google and books. The Science museum could also help you out here if you could make a trip over Christmas.

Good Luck and a very merry Christmas to you all!

Miss Critchley

Year 9 Home learning- Due Thursday 8th Januaruy

Heat Transfer Poster

We’ve Learned about Conduction, Convection and Radiation.

  1. Make a colourful A3 poster (you can collect paper from me) to go on my wall to help us revise.
  2. You must explain what each type of heat transfer is
  3. Give a real life example of this taking place
  4. Explain what type of medium this transfer requires (if any)
  5. Write a 300 word story about a world without convection. What would bathing be like, for example? Boiling water?

Due Thursday 8th January

Miss C

Y7 Home Learning- Due Wednesday 7th January

A really big homework to keep you busy when you’re bored of all those Christmas presents

  1. List all the differences between animal and plant cells.
  2. Explain why plant cells have extra organelles by explaining what each one does.
  3. Do all plants get all of their energy from the sun? Clue: tell me about carnivorous plants too
  4. Humans reproduce when a sperm cell and an egg cell combine. How do plants do this?
  5. FInd out what an organ is and name some. State their function too.

Enjoy! Please answer all questions in full sentences and have this ready by Wednesday 7th January.

Merry Christmas

Year 7 Home Learning Due Wednesday 26/11/14

Use the extended writing worksheet I handed out in the library to complete the question about Asteroids, Comets and Satellites and the differences between them.

Some of you have been given writing frames to help and some of you have an extra challenge. If you didn’t get these but feel like you want either one see me Friday break time to collect copies of it.

Miss Critchley

Y11 Home Learning due Monday 24/11/14

As you know, you are to bring suitable research to school for your coursework introduction tomorrow.

This weeks Homelearning is in two parts.

First please complete the June 2013 Chemsitry 1,2,3 paper. I will provide print outs of this in Thursday’s lesson.

Second prepare a list of variables, risks, hazards and controls for you chosen method as determined in class this week. A sheet will be provided to help.

Miss Critchley