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 […]

Natural philosophy now – possible or necessary?

Some thoughts prompted by my reading of Unger and Smolin‘s critique and prospectus aimed at contemporary cosmology. What, I wonder, is the effect of this sort of thing? And would we like more of it, as a contribution to science criticism? Authors tend to find critics pigeonholing their work irksome, so perhaps something interesting is […]

The end of genes? Writing with new metaphors…

Evelyn Keller was always brilliant at dissecting the assumptions imported into scientific description in the form of metaphors – whether in scientific o rpopular discourse. This (quite long) essay on how we write about genes when they keep shape shifting under the inspection of new scientific techniques doesn’t mention her book The Century of the […]

Making modern science – and discarding the old story

I heard a good talk about science this week – good, that is, except when the presenter touched on history. That part was pretty much a caricature of scientists’ typical take on their predecessors. There was stuff in the past we now think is right (good) and stuff we know is wrong (bad). The notion […]

Where does the order come from? Stu Kauffman’s Investigations

I’ve always found Stuart Kauffman fascinating, although his thinking can be hard to grasp (for me). Here’s one old attempt to get hold of it. He hasn’t published at book length since, but he’s still thinking about these things, as in this recent piece. Re-reading, I am reminded of a more recent thinker about origins […]