about the blog

There’s nothing new here, though it may be new to you. This blog is a place for revisiting things I’ve written over the past 25 years or so.

Why do that? A bunch of reasons. I’m fascinated by science, and representations of science. I’ve also got a lot of stuff in various archives. (The personal archive extends back to the era of A4 file folders old carrier bags of clippings). They’re mostly book reviews – I reckon more than 500 now – plus some commentaries, profiles and other features. There’s quite wide coverage of popular science books, along with a fair few more academic offerings. The topics include science, scientists, science communication, history, philosophy and sociology of science, science and society, and lots of biology – especially molecular biology and evolution. There are others, but those are the ones I’ve come back to most often.

Every now and again, reminded of something I’ve forgotten, I find that it is still interesting. Sometimes, I think that I know better now – or more, or different – which is also interesting (to me).  I guess I’m also interested what these disparate pieces add up to. Does all this commentary about science, and science studies fit together, or is it all merely opinion spun off from the long-term pursuit of the only career plan I ever had: to get paid to read books and talk to interesting people? A blog is a way to find out. I can repost stuff here, and add a comment or two. One often writes to find out what one thinks. Re-reading invites the question, what do I think now?

So mainly of interest to me, then? Probably. File under “mostly harmless”. It is a handy substitute for one of those contract-filling books of reviews which publishers sometimes allow their best authors to compile, but mostly shouldn’t. A substitute also, perhaps, for the synthetic book about science and the nature of science which I never quite got round to writing. I’m still reserving the right to have a crack at that if the time seems right, and I can think of a way of doing it.

With that in mind, if you do read anything here, feel free to comment. If, that is, you think getting involved in a conversation about me observing myself observing other people observing science is a good use of your time. (It’s what the internet is for.)

I’ve started off with a baker’s dozen of fairly old pieces to make this site worth browsing. The plan is to put up one or two more a week, unless I get carried away or find I have a lot of time on my hands. That should be enough to keep this going for a few years, at least.

Shorter version: this will be a long-running display of a minor author’s egotism. (That’s what the internet is for, too.)

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