Writing


I write stuff. Mostly about science.

I have more than ten years’ experience with news stories, blogs, feature articles and opinion pieces. And all kinds of web copy. Sometimes as part of the digital communications things I do in the academic research sector; sometimes freelance; often just because I can’t shut up about something.

I also write about issues around transport policy and liveable cities. And sometimes I manage to make up stories entirely.

 

Science

Some samples from the day job at academic research organisations:

And a small sample of my earlier science posts, which looked at recent discoveries in an attempt to explore the interesting themes behind them:

I also write a bit about themes of bad science: pseudoscience, skepticism, and how science works. I regularly have to pull out my Lay Science post on Lies, Damned Lies, and Tissue Culture, which explains why you need to be cautious about claims of miracle cures and sinister health threats which cite only cells in a dish as their evidence.

And as part of the Darwin 200 celebrations, I wrote a series of sixteen posts reviewing The Origin Of Species, hoping to find something to say that was interest and also different to the comments of the other bloggers who were reading the book at the time.

 

Fiction

Selected short stories and flash fiction with a science and skepticism theme:

  • The Gower Street Cuckoos: a silly sci-fi horror story of telepathic psychopathic cell culture, first published in Nature‘s “futures”.
  • Parts of the seven miracle cures of Chuck Quackenbush, a humorous series making fun of media coverage of medical science: Press Release and Smudges.
  • Platform One: on skepticism versus denialism, and the methods of Spiked! magazine.
  • Subluxations and Subpoenas: a Dan Brown parody set in the worlds of homeopathy and chiropractic.

 

Photo essays

On Photocatalyst I post the occasional short photo essay. Some popular ones were:

 

Transport policy

Finally, something a bit different, with the sarcastically-named At War With The Motorist: an often tongue-in-cheek blog about streets and transport — from evidence-based policy to transport psychology, via public health and bad economics.

And to round it all off, a brief excursion into travel guide writing with some car-free holiday ideas: Rannoch Moor by bicycle, the Lake District by bus, and Snowdonia by train.