Top 5: Conversation Articles by Stirling Academics

Over the past few years, our academic staff have been contributing expert opinion and comments to The Conversation – an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.

We’ve produced articles on a range of topics and trending news – from the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, to who will fill Fergie’s boots right up to today’s announcement that British Home Stores is about to enter administration – and everything in between.

Over 250 articles have now been published on The Conversation from Stirling’s authors, garnering more than 5 million reads online. In this blog, we’ve pulled together the top 5 articles (by readership) published on The Conversation by Stirling academics.

1: What species would become dominant on Earth if humans died out? (1.5m reads)

Ant on flower
Ant life

In this article, lecturer Luc Bussiere asks the question – who would take our place as the planet’s dominant animal species. The answer? Ants. Giant, fire-breathing ants. (We may have made up the ‘fire-breathing’ part)

2: Massive clouds erupted 260km into the Martian atmosphere – and no-one knows why (0.5m reads)

Surface of Mars
The Red Planet

Expert on all things space (he works with NASA, you know) Dr Christian Schroeder provided theories to why gigantic clouds appeared 260km above the surface of the red planet.

3: Game of Thrones: The Mountain has revealed his giant diet … here’s what it would do to you (0.4m reads)

“If you want to grow big and strong, you’ll need to eat up!” is a piece of advice we’ve probably all heard at some point in our lives. But 6ft 9in (2.06 metres) and 180kg Icelandic strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson probably took that advice a little too seriously – his mean eating means he’s got the strength to deadlift almost 1,000lbs.

Game of thrones
The Mountain and the Lannisters

He eats almost 12,000 calories a day – almost five times the amount of a normal human male. Health & Exercise Science researchers Oliver Witard and Lee Hamilton journaled what eating 12,000 calories a day would do to your feeble human body.

4: Why bigger isn’t always better in the world of muscle building (0.215m reads)

Man posing in body building competition
Flex your knowledge

Two tickets to the gun show? No thanks. Lecturers Lee Hamilton and Angus Hunter destroy a few myths relating to size in body building in this article from September 2015.

5: Ten deadly carcinogens you’ve probably never heard of (0.2m reads)

A bacon butte

We love our bacon butties, so we were understandably saddened when the World Health Organisation deemed bacon, sausages and other processed meats a serious cancer risk in 2015. On the back of that, Professor Andrew Watterson published a listicle of ten deadly carcinogens you’ve probably never heard of – which humans regularly come into contact with.

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