Much ado about nothing

September 13, 2002

It was a title that could not fail to catch the eye - "Nitrous Oxide and William Shakespeare". Was laughing gas to be revealed as a secret ingredient in the Bard's comedies? Alas, no. The paper, to be delivered this week at the Challenger Society for Marine Science's centenary conference, did indeed start with Shakespeare's observation that the "canopy of air" seemed "a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours". But then Jon Barnes and colleagues at Newcastle University and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory remarked: "In hindsight, these words seem prophetic in light of global warming" before embarking on a thoroughly worthy examination of nitrous oxide's role as a greenhouse gas. Shakespeare's connection turned out to be little more than hot air.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments