New planet may help Silicon Valley live its cliché

August 25, 2016

Proxima b, the just-spotted Earth-like body in the star system nearest the sun, could be reached in 20 years by a super-fast spacecraft being financed by tech titan Yuri Milner. Making our world a better place is a startup bromide. Visiting another would deliver on the promise.

Thruppence: Which brand of electric car?

January 10, 2016

Tesla Motors and Faraday Future, which just unveiled a racing-car concept, are named after electrical pioneers. Breakingviews columnists run the gamut from Apple to Roomba as they weigh in on what kind of association, scientific or otherwise, would make a marque with them.

Pluto and pentaquarks boost non-profit science

July 14, 2015

NASA’s distant mission has gone viral, while European researchers have accidentally proven a 50-year-old theory about matter. Open-ended research at, say, Google is valuable, but government-funded basic science offers unmatched intellectual gains and unexpected practical benefits.

Pfizer yet to land knockout blow on Astra

May 2, 2014

The U.S. drugmaker upped its proposal to $106 bln, and promised to keep some of the UK group’s workforce. It does not look high enough to bring Astra to the table. Worse, Pfizer’s aggressive public tactics may only antagonise shareholders.

Astra has small tactical advantage over Pfizer

May 1, 2014

Time can benefit bidders rather than targets – that’s why Kraft left Cadbury flailing for months. But uncertainties around regulatory clearance and Washington politics complicate the dynamics of Pfizer’s approach to AstraZeneca. The U.S. group will want a quick, recommended deal.

Review: Embracing the psychopath within

November 9, 2012

“The Wisdom of Psychopaths” is a good read lurking within a bad one. Amidst the showboating, Kevin Dutton’s book mines brain science to make a cogent case that some psychopathic traits - seen in CEOs, traders and monks as well as serial killers - are not only necessary, but good.

Leave it to a hedgie to take on Einstein

June 7, 2013

A brainiac hedge fund manager thinks he has cracked one of physics’ biggest mysteries. Scientists are sceptical, but admit Eric Weinstein’s ideas deserve study. Even if he is wrong, it’s nice for once to see a Wall Street boffin apply his skills to questions of beauty and truth.