Big history

Haven’t done any archive posting for a while, but this new one just appeared in the British Journal for the History of Science (Sep). Two books that relate, rather differently, to the entirety of human history, seemed worth tackling together… Posted here for those without library access (which these days includes me) Patrick Manning, A […]


The Golem – SSK as pop science?

(Here’s another old offering as I continue rummaging in the archive…) Around ten years before this piece, I reviewed Harry Collins’ Changing Order, one of the earliest things I’ve posted here. The Golem was an effort to popularise the approach to science outlined in that earlier book – the first of three volumes Collins and […]

On scientific collaboration

This is the intro to a collection of essays I edited for the Royal Society, reflecting on the course of a diverse set of scientific collaborations. They appear in a little book(let) recently published. There’ll be a web version at some point, but thought I’d put this up here in the meantime as an appetiser. […]

Relegating references?

“Show your working”, they told me at school, and the principle is sound. Later on, a mathematical proof isn’t accepted unless all the stages are published. And a scholarly text cites all the author’s sources. In PhD-writing days, the literature review was a seemingly endless labour, but also a pleasure, in its way. I kept […]

The shock of the anthropocene

Haven’t posted for ages (seem to have said that before), but here’s a brief book review I did a while back for Public Understanding of Science, which is now in print. Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz (translated by David Fernbach) The shock of the anthropocene. London and New York: Verso, 2016. ISBN 9781784780821 The Anthropocene may […]

Resources for science writers

I’ve recently been doing a spot of teaching at Bath Spa University, as part of their publishing programme.  I also talked about science writing, prompting a review and refresh of a list I’ve been annotating for years  of “how to” books about science writing, and non-fiction writing more generally. There are quite a few of […]