Reviews for The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe

A "lucid history of early Renaissance science" — The National Post

"...a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the astronomical knowledge of the era" — The Chronicle-Herald

"Falk takes the reader on an eventful tour through science in the early modern era...It’s an enjoyable read, and will appeal to non-specialists, but nonetheless is based on a comprehensive engagement with the pertinent academic scholarship. The work is well-informed, enthusiastic, and recommended to anyone seeking a new take on the oft-studied Bard." — Chemistry World

Latest News

What's the deal with leap years, anyway?

Posted on Monday, February 29, 2016

What better time than February 29 -- a date that comes only once every four years -- to reflect on the peculiarities of our calendar, a system that has come to us from the Babylonians and Egyptians, via Julius Caesar and Pope Gregory XIII. In an article for Mental Floss, I look at why and how leap years came to be.

Einstein's elusive waves found at last

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2016

Elusive ripples in the fabric of space, known as gravitational waves, have been found at last, using the twin LIGO detectors. I report on the discovery for Mental Floss.

Episode 10 of BookLab is now out!

Posted on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Computers are now everywhere -- but how did it all begin? In Episode 10 of BookLab, we look at two new books that examine the dawn of the computer age -- Ada’s Algorithm, by James Essinger; and It Began with Babbage, by Subrata Dasgupta. Listen on SoundCloud or subscribe on iTunes.

Newton's bucket and the problem of space

Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2016

More than 300 years ago, Isaac Newton wondered about the physics of a spinning, water-filled bucket. In my first blog posting for Nautilus, I explore the issues raised by the "bucket problem," and how they continue to haunt physicists and philosophers.

Shape Dynamics: a radical new spin on spacetime

Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Shape Dynamics a radical new spin on Einstein's theory of gravity. It offers a bold new take on black holes -- and it might yield new insight into what's "real" in the universe. In my first story for PBS's "NOVA NEXT" I look at where this new theory might lead.

The Top 10 Science Stories of 2015

Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's been a banner year for science, from medical breakthroughs to newly-discovered human ancestors, from genes to neurons -- plus enticing findings from Mars, Pluto, and beyond. In my first story for Mental Floss, I look back at the top science stories of the past year.

100 Years of General Relativity

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2015

Einstein's masterpiece, 100 years old this year, continues to provoke. My cover story for Cosmos magazine on general relativity's first century -- and where it may still take us.

Episode 9 of BookLab is now out!

Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2015

Episode 9 of BookLab is now out! In this episode, two new science books go head to head. Both books look at the history of our species, the rise of science, and how one puny primate conquered the planet. It's The Upright Thinkers, by Leonard Mlodinow versus Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari. (The podcast can also be found on iTunes and SoundCloud.)

A new Canadian eye on the sky: Dragonfly

Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Can an off-the-shelf telephoto lens be used for cutting-edge astronomy? If you put enough of them together, sure! I report on a new telescope array -- a Canadian-led project called Dragonfly -- in the September/October issue of SkyNews. (The article is available on-line to subscribers.)

The Science of Addiction

Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The accepted medical wisdom is that addiction is a disease. Neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis sees it differently. I review his book "The Biology of Desire" in the Globe & Mail.