William of Ockham was an English monk, philosopher, theologian, who provided the scientific method with its key principle 700 years ago. 'What can be done with fewer assumptions is done in vain with more,' he said. That is, in explaining any phenomenon, we should use no more explanatory concepts than are absolutely necessary. Simplicity should never be despised. Thoughtful people have their say, without interruption, on important science-related topics.
The southern continents were once united as the supercontinent Gondwana, but does this explain the links between the plants of the southern hemisphere? Dr Barbara Briggs travelled to Madagascar to find out.