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

The delicate business of scientific humour

Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2016

It's no secret that scientists can be funny -- but sneaking puns and jokes into peer-reviewed journal articles is no easy task. I look at the long tradition of science-publishing shenanigans in this report for Slate.

A new view of the quantum world

Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

In the traditional view of quantum mechanics, everything is fuzzy and unpredictable -- but as I report in a feature story for Quanta Magazine, a new experiment may lend support to an alternative view, one that's more concrete, but still extremely weird.

Tracking climate change, back in the day

Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Scientists have studied climate records from far northern Europe and from Japan, dating back to the 17th and 15th centuries, respectively -- and found that they point to the same troubling conclusion, as I report for Mental Floss.

2015 Science in Society Journalism Award

Posted on Monday, May 2, 2016

I'm delighted to have won the 2015 Science in Society Journalism Award from the Canadian Science Writers' Association, for my story on artificial intelligence, focusing on the work of AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton. The story was published in the University of Toronto Magazine last summer.

BookLab 011: Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs; The Brain; Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lisa Randall puts forward a bold idea about how the dinosaurs met their demise – and the role that an exotic kind of matter may have played. We look at her new book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, in Episode 11 of BookLab. Also in this episode: The Brain, by David Eagleman; and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. Listen on SoundCloud or subscribe on iTunes.

Who was reading and writing in ancient Judah?

Posted on Monday, April 11, 2016

Scholars have long debated the origins of the texts that make up the Hebrew Bible. As I report in Mental Floss, a new study points to a rise in literacy -- essential for the creation of the Biblical texts -- as early as 700 BCE.

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.