The Cell … and The Atom

I was delighted to learn a few weeks ago that my book The Cell, published by the lovely people at Ivy Press, in association with Chicago University Press, is a finalist in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s ‘Excellence in Science Books Prize’. The other finalists are amazing, so just being picked is a great honour….

Science Made Stupid (in a good way)

Today is World Book Day … in the UK at least. Here, it’s held on the first Thursday of March, while the rest of the world celebrates it  on 23 April. Anyway, I have been thinking about some of the books that have inspired me. One of them, which is pertinent to this website and…

I am the Edison Phonograph

I have been fascinated by this 1906 phonograph advertising recording since I first heard it. Just came across it again, and thought I would share it. Click on the play button below to have a listen. Phonograph image courtesy of Norman Bruderhofer, www.cylinder.de.

Happy birthday, Dr Snow

Today (14th March) was Einstein’s birthday (he was born in 1879). It was also pi day – happy pi day (should really be tau day – to understand why, see this great video by the wonderful Vi Hart). But I was most excited because it was the day of publication of my narrative biography of John…

Arvind Gupta’s science toys

Check out this page full of amazing videos of quick, simple, cheap science demonstrations – on the site of Arvind Gupta. They’ll make you want to have a go. You should also check out this page filled with ‘science toys’. According to his profile on TED.com, Arvind Gupta is “an Indian toy inventor and populariser…

Tim Minchin, ‘Storm’

I don’t like to divert people away from my website, but you should really watch this in HD, so click on the ‘YouTube’ button at the bottom of the video frame. I think this piece by the talented, intelligent, rational Tim Minchin is, well, poetry:

Incredible inner life of cells …

Check out this realistic animation of the action at cellular level – amazing to think this is happening inside you right now. It was produced by scientists at Harvard in 2007, as part of a project called ‘Biovisions‘.   Here’s an embedded YouTube version, but do visit the actual site for a better resolution and…

How Flowers Changed the World

Check out the rather flowery but inspired writing in this account of the evolution of flowers – well worth a read, I think. It was written by Loren Eiseley, who died in 1977. Here’s an extract: “If one could run the story of that first human group like a speeded-up motion picture through a million…