a non-random selection:
features, comment, essays, talks, interviews, book
reviews and more
From Lublin to London, Europe’s Contested Ideas of National Identity, NYR Daily 12 November 2019
On patriotism, being European, and how to live with the other half of a divided nation.
FT Magazine 1 March 2019
Why we need a Europe of communities 20 June 2018
Conversation #14 Conversations With Europe 28 August 2017
In which I talk about what's behind my current writing and activity: 'I've committed myself to doing what I can for openness, inclusion and diversity in the face of the threats that these now face. That is a worldwide struggle, but its European theatre is the one I'm most aware of, and feel most deeply about.'
And which led, via a question about my favourite place in Europe, to my 2023 book The Stories Old Towns Tell.
Choosing Europe, Choosing Hope 12 June 2016
Intelligence and Human Insight: The Importance of
Understanding What You Are Saying
AIIC UK & Ireland webinar 4 December 2020
Why advances in AI will highlight the qualities that only humans can bring to interpreting.
Words For Friend (podcast) The Hedgehog and
the Fox 15 May 2019
The importance of learning multiple languages (podcast) Yale University Press 2 May 2019
Using more than one language matters now more than ever Big Issue 22 February 2019
Why some people object to hearing foreign languages in public, and what to do about it.
matters Yale University Press 18
A little of a language can take you a long way.
the era of artificial speech translation upon us?
Observer 17 February 2019
Why Babel fish will make us value languages more, not less busuu 11 April 2019
The better artificial translation gets, the more people will appreciate the value of knowing languages.
When politics fills the
language gap, can science be neutral? New Scientist
2 November 2016
Language is human; language is political. That's a challenge for scientists such as the ones who argue that bilingualism is good for the brain.
'My train, my lingo'. The free
movement of languages and people: talk
Fabrica Understanding Territoriality conference 26 May 2015
lynx effect Has the next mass extinction of
species begun? Intelligent Life
The thousand-year stare Imagining and caring about the distant future Aeon 17 September 2012
Who needs oil? London in the mid-21st century Evening Standard 13 May 2011
Climate change is a hard sell - especially when it's freezing out Guardian 10 December 2010
Can We Rise Above a Warming Planet? Climate Change, Democracy and Human Nature: lecture, October 2010.
The Handaxe Challenge 20
Neanderthal mind Aeon 15 May 2013, and
chat about it on Word of Mouth, NHPR, 10 June
Us and them Aeon 10 January 2013
Change: Darwin, Lincoln, Obama Royal Society
of Edinburgh lecture, 13 November 2009
Did Charles Darwin believe in racial inequality? Independent 30 January 2009
Far Weirder Than Hobbits Author's version of 'The Little Troublemaker', New Scientist 18 June 2005
John Maynard Smith 1920-2004 A personal appreciation
Darwin Day and the Peppered Moths Independent on Sunday 29 February 2004
Unity is Health: An Evolutionary Left Author's version of 'An Evolutionary Left', Prospect October 2001
Market Eugenics Prospect May 2000
Handaxes: Products of Sexual Selection? by Marek Kohn and Steven Mithen Antiquity 73, 1999
Views for the Left Peter Singer Independent on Sunday 24 May 1998
Cinderella Revisited Martin Daly and Margo Wilson Independent on Sunday 24 November 1996
Drive an Escort, not a Ferrari, and be happy Robert Frank Independent on Sunday 16 June 1996
evolution: book REVIEws
Daniel Dennett's From Bacteria to Bach and Back Literary Review February 2017
Dawkins's An Appetite for Wonder
Independent 28 September 2013
Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature Independent 7 October 2011
Chris Stringer's The Origin of Our Species Literary Review August 2011
Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion Independent 29 September 2006
Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell Independent 10 March 2006
Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate Independent 14 September 2002
PoLISH BOOKS: REVIEWsHanna Krall's Chasing the King of Hearts Independent 18 October 2013
Zygmunt Miłoszewski's A Grain of Truth Independent 19 November 2012
Paweł Huelle's Cold Sea Stories Independent 20 October 2012
Artur Domosławski's Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life Independent 18 August 2012
Andrzej Stasiuk's On the Road to Babadag Independent 29 July 2011
Jan Karski's Story of a Secret State Independent 13 May 2011
Race and science
Rerun Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Writing this book review provided an interesting opportunity to reflect upon writing about race and science twenty years after my book The Race Gallery came out. New claims, new critiques; same angst about what must and must not be said.
This Racist Undercurrent in the Tide of Genetic Research Guardian 17 January 2006. Not a headline I would have chosen, unless I'd defined racism in the article, which I should have done. And maybe yet will, if a sense of duty gets the better of me.