June 2016: why did the University of Glasgow abruptly

terminate my research database access?

Click on the images to link.

My personal pages include my family history, which has a few snippets of information of interest to students of Scottish history and culture.



family history






Scottish connections, aside from my immediate family, are mainly literary or historical; for example the author Lewis Grassic Gibbon, the poet Tom Buchan, and the Scoraig community.








  The professional pages concern my academic research career, publications, and so on. There is also a page commenting on a number of prominent and expert earth scientists who seem to have compromised their skills and experience in the service of government or industry, and start assuming that their academic credentials can substitute for facts, meticulous research and clear thinking. Close scrutiny of such people is required when their science has a social or political dimension, for example in exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons, geological disposal of nuclear waste, or anthropogenic climate change. 



Nuclear waste disposal mainly concerns the failure of successive UK governments to solve the problem. Documents from the Sellafield Public Planning Inquiry of 1995-96 are available, together with more recent scientific studies. These demonstrate that, irrespective of the wishes of the local population, West Cumbria can never become a scientifically valid candidate site.






The 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident has shown that the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) is not fit for purpose. I have replaced it by a new Nuclear Accident Magnitude Scale (NAMS), which has been published online in Physics Today.  I have reproduced the article here, and non-technical explanations and diagrams for the lay person are here.






The Climate page does not offer any new research, but simply reproduces interesting French articles, mainly from Le Monde, the excellent daily which puts most other serious world newspapers to shame. I have translated these articles into English, because the French media debate about le réchauffement climatique (global warming) is far more grown-up than the trivialised news and comment that passes for debate in the British broadsheets.









The environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shales which are faulted have received very little attention. The dangers in extracting methane from coal beds (CBM) is closely related to shale gas extraction.  Faulting and fracking discusses the problems.


I have also started a blog, Frackland, to provide topical or ephemeral comment.







The Rezillos were Scotland's leading new wave band between 1976 and 1978. These pages recount how the band was formed;  I was their original bass player.


The Art song page offers a compilation of vocal duets suitable for soprano and tenor. My translations of song texts into English from French or German can be found on Emily Ezust's Lied and Art song site, so there is no longer any point in having them here.



The Rezillos




Art song





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