An astounding 91% of litter found floating around the Maltese Islands is plastic waste, but it is not the only pollutant scarring our seas. Caroline Curmi speaks to marine biologist and University of Malta guest lecturer Marta Curmi about Malta’s marine pollution crisis and how the nation can tackle it. Read More
Maltese seismologist Matthew Agius, alongside an international team of researchers, has just identified a thinner-than-average zone in the Earth’s mantle below the mid-Atlantic Ocean. The finding helps explain how the Atlantic Ocean is opening up. The story left ripples worldwide. Read More
Is it possible to maintain a friendship with someone with radically opposite views? THINK editor, David Mizzi, examines why we should do so. Read More
For people who lose some of their ability to move due to accidents, injuries, or disease, recovery can be a long and expensive process, as well as psychologically trying. Can virtual reality games hold the key to a speedy recovery? James Moffet from THINK gets in touch with the team behind the PRIME-VR2 project to find out. Read More
Finnish Punk Rock is a niche type of music. You'd expect it to be popular in Finland, but to Lasse Ullven's surprise, he found fanatical communities in Brazil, Greece and Japan. What is appealing about Finnish Punk Rock to these communities that do not necessarily have any ethnic connection to Finland? Read More
As part of the YouthHub Program at Junior College, a small group of students have decided to completely rebuild the Campus - on Minecraft. In order to complete the task, the students consulted the architectural plans and designed and implemented their own custom textures. Read More
‘Blood.’  ‘What was that?’  ‘Blood.’  ‘What do you mean?’  ‘Blood.’  ‘You have to give me more than that. Why do... Read More
Technology addiction is a growing concern in young adults. The Girl in the Machine, a play being presented at Spazju Kreattiv, explores these themes. Read More
Trading goods has moved to virtual space. Market boundaries have collapsed as digital solutions are being sold worldwide, pushing the knowledge-based economy to thrive. Christian Keszthelyi discusses the internationalisation potential and successes of Malta-based companies with lecturer Joe Schembri (Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy, University of Malta). Read More
A reinforced concrete water tower, dated from the early 20th century and a unique reminder of Malta’s industrial heritage, was in desperate need of extensive repair and attention. Combining a wealth of expertise, cutting edge technology, and a community of support, Prof. Ruben Paul Borg and Prof. Edward Gatt tell Becky Catrin Jones how they brought a new lease of life to an important aspect of modern history. Read More
Timed Cities, such as those being planned for Milan and Paris, are aimed to change the way cities work. The idea is to create a community where all amenities are within walking distance. Sam Shingles from THINK gets in touch with researchers at the University of Malta who are examining what these timed cities would look like in the Maltese Islands. Read More
As our climate degrades, the consequences are felt even on a microscopic level. E. coli, a bacteria responsible for severe food-poisoning, seems to be benefitting from the crisis. Andrew Firbank speaks with PhD researcher Styliani Roufou to discover the consequences that this could have for the dairy sector. Read More
John Paul Azzopardi, uses some unique materials to create his works of art. Using rabbit and chicken bones, he has managed to create complex artworks. But why this particular medium? And what's the underlying message? Read More
Video games might not be your first thought when it comes to comedy. Some people doubt whether games can even pull it off. THINK gets in touch with Dr Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone to talk about how comedy works in video games. Read More
Life and death maintain a reciprocal relationship – one gives meaning to the other. From a psychological perspective, acknowledging one’s mortality is necessary to start using one’s days to the fullest, for without death, we are stagnant. Read More
The latest IPCC report on climate change offered the world a stark warning. Timothy Alden speaks to academic Prof. Simone Borg, Malta’s Ambassador for Climate Action and Chairperson of the University of Malta’s Climate Platform and the National Climate Action Board. She recently reiterated the Maltese Islands vulnerability to climate change. Read More
The purpose of poetry extends far beyond what is oftentimes thought of as a chiefly romantic form of emotional expression. Embracing surprisingly macabre themes, war poetry has been used by various cultures for millennia as a tool to incite listeners to practice brutality. Read More
Project SANITAS harnesses the power of plasma to turn water into hydrogen peroxide, the key ingredient in disinfectants like hand sanitizers. With the COVID19 crisis making hygiene a daily priority, researchers at the University of Malta are tweaking the chemical process to create medical grade products. Read More
Showcasing his series of unique and delicate ink drawings, local artist and designer Glenn Ellul is hosting his debut solo... Read More
Malta’s steps towards becoming the ‘Blockchain Island’ have seen some criticism lately. Dr Joshua Ellul is the chairperson of Malta’s... Read More
THINK takes a trip to explore research and archaeological work taking place at Borġ in-Nadur, overseen by Heritage Malta, which will see the Neolithic site freed from modern-day debris and accumulated material to show the original prehistoric structure in all its glory. Read More
Archives help preserve the past. Modern archives are dependent on technology. What happens when the technology used to store the past becomes obsolete? Will this information be lost forever at the next update? Words by David Mizzi. Read More
Medical diagnosis relies on data. A physician observes and analyzes a patient’s vital signals to assess their condition and prescribe adequate treatment. The more accurate and reliable the data, the better the treatment. Through the use of technology, digital health allows both physicians and patients real-time access to medical data. Read More
Can we reduce the level of pain perception in the brain? Distraction therapy has been used by health professionals for years to help children and young people cope with painful procedures. The aim is to take the focus of the patient away from the pain and concentrate on something else instead. Books, games, music, and toys are some of the many types of distraction therapy. Read More
Design is a transformation process. The idea is to transform problems into solutions through creative design thinking. With guidance from Dr Lawrence Farrugia, Daniela Quacinella, and Dr Sarah Pulé, we (Benjamin Farrugia and Andrea Gerada) have researched and designed a conceptual product-service which could revolutionise the marine fire rescue industry using drone technology. Read More
The maritime industry is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions. While newly introduced legislation helps control this hazard, it has significantly increased the burden for Port State and environmental authorities. Antónia Ribeiro interviews Nicky Borg, the founder of local start-up Marine Hound, to discover how their original smart buoys can help solve the problem. Read More
Satellite observation helps us understand our environment down on the ground. From tracking ocean currents to studying sinkholes, the applications are endless as long as the technology can keep up. Read More
The voices. I need to get them out. Just make them go away. The voices. They drive me insane. Always talking, talking, talking. They make me SCREAM! Read More
One of the largest citizen science projects in Malta, Spot the Jellyfish has helped record many interesting discoveries about marine life. But as the project grows, the team must expand their technology to cope with the influx of data. Prof. Alan Deidun, Prof. John Abela, and Dr Adam Gauci speak to Becky Catrin Jones about their latest developments. Read More
Local researchers from the DRIFT (Dense Recording of In-Shoe Foot Temperatures) project team are investigating foot health in patients with diabetes. In collaboration with Mater Dei Hospital, researchers are developing smart insoles, a system with embedded thermal sensors that measure foot temperatures. THINK got in touch with Chiara Modestini, podiatrist and researcher with DRIFT, to find out more. Read More
It’s hard to imagine Maltese literature leaving a mark on the global stage. We might assume that there simply isn’t enough interest. But in a world that’s so increasingly globalised, is it fair to assume that a language that represents such a melting pot of identities has nothing to offer to the wider cultural market? The UK-based micro publisher Praspar Press, spearheaded by Kat Storace and Jen Calleja, is setting out to disprove that assumption. Read More
Travel time studies are important for transport geographers, especially on island archipelagos. Small islands like Gozo depend on outside links for their infrastructure. My (Marthese Cini) research study focused on Gozitan commuters working in Malta and the recent discussions on ‘connecting’ the islands. Specifically, I studied whether a ferry or a tunnel would be more suitable for their needs. Read More
As lockdowns spread worldwide and grounded planes crippled international tourism, humanity cut the environment some long-awaited slack. With the climate change debate heating up (proportionally to the planet’s temperatures), THINK investigates what would happen if humanity’s only chance to preserve our planet is a yearly 3-month lockdown? Read More
Upon accession into the European Union (EU), Malta vowed to incorporate the entire body of European Union law (known as the acquis) into its legal system. It has been one of the fastest member states to do so, but has it been done properly? THINK magazine’s John Crossan interviews Dr Jelena Agranovska and Dr Ivan Sammut (Faculty of Laws, University of Malta). Read More
Commissioned over half a millennium ago, Antonello Gagini’s Madonna and Child has been silently standing tall in a Franciscan church in Rabat for the past five centuries. Little was known about the Renaissance sculpture, but a recent study is tracing the statue’s history. Caroline Curmi speaks to art historian Dr Charlene Vella and University of Malta student Jamie Farrugia about their findings. Read More
Two years after Cisse’s murder, which was ostensibly motivated by racial hatred given that neither of the shooters knew anything about the victim except his skin colour, the report remains a secret. Read More
It’s a topsy turvy ole world isn’t it? One moment we’re not allowing certain plays to be staged, the next there are journalists being locked up in a room in Castille, and before we know it, Donald Trump is banging on social media’s door asking to be let back in. Read More
It is estimated that every 1 out of 4 people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. Mental health refers to what we feel, as well as how we think and act. It is how we go about our daily lives, go to work, attend lectures, engage in meaningful relationships, and interact socially. Read More
The first ever Crowdfight Symposium will be taking place on 15th June. The symposium will look at the incentives inherent in the academic system, such as authorship in publications, and how these motivate academics. Crowdfight seeks to address how these incentives might be improved to further promote collaboration. Read More
Surrounded by ever-changing environments, it is crucial to take the time to pause and reflect. That’s exactly what Maltese-French artist Laura Besançon does in her exhibition Playful Futures — and she’s inviting you to play along. The exhibition attempts to refresh our perspectives on the changing contexts that are beyond our control. Read More
You’ve probably never given your lunch a second thought. How did bread become the worldwide sensation it is today? If one dares to go back in time, it is apparent how the consumption of certain foods came to symbolize the advancement of our species and the growth of civilization. In particular, staple foods like bread faithfully accompanied mankind like a puppy would its master. Read More
Work takes up half our lives, maybe more. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the luxury of enjoying their work. In Malta, just over a quarter of the population experience a high level of job satisfaction, while in Denmark this number is much higher. And with a growing emphasis on innovation and creativity in the workplace, it is even more crucial that workers find pleasure in their work. Read More
Two weeks ago, I watched a debate organised by Malta Medical Students' Association (MMSA). Under the theme of the legalisation of abortion, Doctors for Choice (DC) and Doctors for Life (DL) presented their cases. As you may have guessed from their names, DC are pro-abortion and DL are not. Read More
Darkness at noon is an occurrence which violently alters established patterns of nature — a frightening moment. In literature and poetry, this motif has been abstracted and appears repeatedly throughout time. Read More
Science and cinema are, in essence, two disparate fields. One relies on recording evidence and gathering data for research. The other captures visual and auditory art primarily for entertainment purposes. Yet something extraordinary is taking place inside the Electronics Systems Lab (Faculty of Engineering, University of Malta). THINK was invited to observe the on-going development of a high-speed performance video camera. Read More
‘Until now, we have been destroying our planet. We have been abusing it as if we have a spare one.’ These were the words of António Guterres, the UN secretary general, speaking to global leaders at the One Planet summit in Paris. This year, he emphasised, must be the year that humanity is reconciled with nature. Read More
Dardingli is the brainchild of Beatriz Rodriguez Sanz and Xabi Rivera, two people from very different professional and personal backgrounds. They struggled to find a home, a common problem in Malta, so they decided to solve the island’s real estate woes. Inna Korchilava from THINK magazine finds out more. Read More
What is it about a story that can make us so invested? Antónia Ribeiro muses over marketing, emotions, and Nazis under the light of Dr Mario Cassar’s research in storytelling. Read More
Last week, on April 1st, we published an article on THINK claiming that the earth is flat. We fabricated some fancy-sounding research, used some technical jargon, and name-dropped a few made-up academics. We understand that not many (if anyone) actually believed this, but in the age of fake news, it has taken just as much evidence to convince people otherwise. Read More
Though she did not take the easiest path, a desire for new knowledge and the application of mathematics in complex problems has led Dr Martha Borg to critical acclaim in the field of theoretical chemistry. Here she tells Becky Catrin Jones how she fought through many challenges to achieve her goals. Read More
The Latin phrase alma mater, translated to ‘nourishing mother’, is frequently used to refer to a university. From that, we... Read More
Malta’s first anti-bullying NGO, bBrave, has recently launched its mobile application to raise awareness on the different faces of bullying. The all-volunteer-run organisation, thanks to the supporting help of members and sponsors, is spearheading education into bullying, helping those individuals in need. By Christian Keszthelyi. Read More
Librarians and pirates the world over have started a controversial movement to make access to academic research free. Veronica Stivala heads underground to find out more. Read More
Researchers are taking inspiration from the dynamic nature of life to create synthetic systems that behave in new ways. Dr Maria Cardona spent her PhD developing a structure that imitates parts of a biological cell. Words by Emma Clarke Read More
Proof that the Earth is flat
Cutting edge researchers from the University of Malta, Dr Harry Johnson, Prof. Anita Bath, and Dr Oliver Klosov have confirmed that there is evidence to suggest that the world is, in fact, flat. This discovery has come to the forefront from a longitudinal study spanning 25 years from over 50 leading universities around the world — beginning at the University of Malta. Read More
Western tradition tends to view gender as something binary, either male or female. Fran Borg’s research takes a closer look at how Sanskrit philosophy understands the inseparability of gender through language and mythology. Read More
In an existence where change is constant, language is no exception. Caroline Curmi meets Dr Sarah Grech to discuss Malta’s English language patterns and what data our language and word choices reveal about us. Read More
Nika Levikov virtually sits down with Dr Sandro Lanfranco to understand what it means to be human, how our understanding of humanity has changed over time, and whether any of it matters. Read More
Crystallography equipment
Crystal engineers have the power to create bespoke materials capable of advancing many scientific and technological fields. Prof. Liana Vella-Zarb and her team at PharmaTaxis use X-Ray crystallography and their knowledge of atomic blueprints to create new ways to carry medicine around the body, leading to safer, more effective treatments. Read More
Religion is meant to bring people together, but it can become a barrier. In schools, this border transforms into bullying because of different faiths, skin colour, and even diets. All of this needs to stop. As the world has become more and more globalized, it has become increasingly important to understand each other’s cultures and religions. Read More
Are you debating whether or not to start a PhD? Have you just started and are already overwhelmed? You might be asking yourself, why am I putting myself through this? Don’t panic! We’ve gotten in touch with Dr Sarah Cuschieri, author of To Do or Not to Do a PhD to ask that very question. Read More
In 1992 the European Convention of the Protection of Archaeological Heritage was signed in Valletta. Ten years later the Maltese Parliament enacted the Cultural Heritage Act. This law was meant to prevent the destruction of Maltese archaeological sites. Sadly, this did not happen. Tal-Qares in Mosta is the latest case of an archaeological site that may soon be lost. Grassroots organisers are now fighting to save it. Read More
Maltese Landscape
Every ecosystem is composed of a community of organisms alongside their physical environment. In order to better understand these ecosystems, conservation biologists from the Department of Biology, University of Malta (UM) have begun compiling a wildlife DNA barcode library that can help understand our local wildlife and give us the tools to protect it. Read More
Karl Marx on the economy of pizza.
The economy isn’t a giant spaghetti monster. We observe the economy around us through the price of petrol, the minimum wage, the stock market, and the global political theater. David Mizzi analyses one philosopher’s musings on economy and labour. Read More
A taxiing airplane
Whether it’s your car or a Boeing 747, an engine uses a significant amount of fuel to start moving from a standstill. The KERSair Project, led by Dr Robert Camilleri (UM), is developing a technology to reduce aircraft plane emissions while taxiing. Read More
Illustrative image of a woman working at a desk
The COVID-19 virus has had a profound impact in the way in which our lives are led. The widespread global adoption of remote workplaces and classrooms has introduced us to a new way of life. The question is whether the adoption of this new norm will continue in years following the pandemic. To answer that, David Mizzi takes a look at the nature of work and what the raison d’etre of pursuing tertiary education is. Read More
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a complex, progressive, neurodegenerative condition affecting around 10 million people worldwide. But for every person directly... Read More
The wide open road is full of unexpected surprises, especially for motorcyclists. The slightest miscalculation can result in swerving out of control or a horrible accident. But what if there was a way to improve motorcycle safety by creating a stronger connection between rider and bike? Engineers at the University of Malta may have just found a way to build your perfect bike. Read More
A Machine's Hallucinations
Have you ever looked at a turtle and thought it was a rifle? I’m willing to bet that most of you have not. This may sound like an absurd case, but it is exactly what happened when researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) were trying to find vulnerabilities in machine learning systems developed by Google. They altered a few pixels of the picture of a 3d-printed plastic turtle, and a seemingly unchanged and harmless plastic turtle was classified by Google’s algorithm as a rifle. The picture still showed a plastic turtle, so where did the algorithm go wrong? Read More
Engineers at the University of Malta may have just found a way to build your perfect bike.
The wide open road is full of unexpected surprises, especially for motorcyclists. The slightest miscalculation can result in swerving out of control or a horrible accident. But what if there was a way to improve motorcycle safety by creating a stronger connection between rider and bike? Engineers at the University of Malta may have just found a way to build your perfect bike. Read More
Logo and link of the board game Construction BOOM!
The goal of satire is not to mock, but to generate debate. By placing us in the role of the contractor, downloadable board game Construction BOOM! forces us to take a long hard look at the construction industry and wonder if it really is ‘booming’. Read More
Night view over Paceville
A community is more than just a group of people who live in the same area. A community requires commonalities, communication, and context. When one of these factors doesn’t hold true, then there is no community, and if there is no community, then what is there? Read More
Sustainability is a key concern for modern consumers, the cosmetic industry is no exception. Cosmetic brands are looking for more eco-friendly solutions for their beauty products. Antonia Fortunato interviews local start-up ALKA, which aims to grow algae to create a sustainable source of cosmetic components. Read More
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the world. We have self-driving cars, algorithms determining future market patterns, and computers diagnosing disease. We believe that AI is supporting huge developments in healthcare. Read More
A good way of understanding a concept is by looking at the way people use it in everyday conversations. Language embodies the accumulated wisdom of countless speakers who have expressed their understanding to others over long periods of time. By analysing the way we use the term ‘comfort zone’ we can better understand what we actually mean when we use it. Read More
reel-to-reel machine in motion
Biex taqra l-artiklu bl-Ingliż, agħfas hawn. Kaxxi fuq kaxxi, miksijin bl-għabra, jistennew is-sekondiera tagħmel ir-ronda tagħha. Is-sekondi jsiru minuti. Isiru... Read More
reel-to-reel machine in motion
The way Maltese sounds has evolved over the decades. While written examples of Maltese have survived, records of how it was spoken are much more scarce. However, thanks to the efforts of Prof. Alexandra Vella (UM), Prof. Ray Fabri (UM) and Dr Michael Spagnol, we now have the opportunity to hear firsthand what Maltese sounded like 60 years ago! Read More
Meditation, Mental Health, Sunset, Sunrise, Tranquil
The uncertainty of a global pandemic has taken its toll on our mental health. Examining Dr Paulann Grech’s latest book, Dealing with Coronus, takes us beyond mental well-being during COVID-19 and into a discussion about mindfulness and what it means for our mental health. Read More
AI and Facial Recogntion
While most European citizens remain wary of AI and Facial Recognition, Maltese citizens do not seem to grasp the repercussions... Read More
Earth with a mask
Barely two weeks of the coronavirus lockdown measures had passed before people started posting images of cleaner waters and purified... Read More
Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino and his students
COVID-19 pandemic containment measures pushed lecturing and studying to home environments. Some academics appreciated it more than others – they... Read More