popular science

Continuing work in opening (especially young) minds to new realms of beauty

Contributor, The Maths Book (Dorling Kindersley, 2019)
‘The Langlands Program for a general audience in 400 words? Okaaay…’
(Thanks to Kevin Buzzard for help with this.)

Author, We’ve Got Your Number (Kingfisher, 2013)
Shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2014
This commission was a summer job in the middle of my maths degree. Ian Stewart said something nice about it.
Paginated in hex!
Has sequences to figure out!
Amongst the few (relatively trivial) problems in the book, I wanted to sneak in Goldbach’s Conjecture. The publisher balked when I couldn’t supply requisite proof –’you can’t ask a child to think about an unsolved problem!’ – why not?
I also learned about extant editorial standards the hard way. My characterisation of mathematicians as people who find patterns was turned into the tautologous ‘people who find mathematical patterns…’. At least Poincaré’s ‘art of giving the same name to different things’ survived intact in the text.

Consultant editor, Scientific American’s How Things Work Today (Marshall, 2000)
By the time such a book is published, it’s tomorrow already. I did however manage to explain GPS in a little more detail than typical at this level.


Project editor, The Visual Dictionary of Chemistry
(DK, 1996)
If it weren’t for lousy yields in organic, I would have continued my affair with chemistry a while longer…

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