Category Archive: terrorism


The Boston Marathon Bombs

In the aftermath of the 2005 7th July bombings in London I wrote a piece entitled “7/7: What kills you matters – not numbers” I illustrated it with a diagram highlighting the remarkable lack of correlation between quantified measures of risk and common response. I identified two key variables that helped to explain this lack of …

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Not published in the Guardian

On 3 June Simon Jenkins published a devastating critique of  the “security industry’s” promotion and exploitation of paranoia to expand its domain. It prompted the letter below, sadly not published. So I submitted it to my blog where it was accepted with alacrity. Sir, Simon Jenkins (Not every adult is a paedophile, a terrorist or …

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The World Under Assault: Can Science Beat Terrorism?

The above title advertises a Cambridge Science Festival event, (9 March 2009) in which I have been invited to participate.  My answer to the question in the title, will be spelt out in my first PowerPoint slide: “No: because paranoia cannot be cured by CCTV, or DNA databases, or ID cards, or CRB checks, or …

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