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

Episode 2 of BookLab is now out!

Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015

Featured Book: Consciousness and the Brain, by Stanislas Deheane.

Stanislas Deheane tackles the problem of consciousness, and tells us how his own research is helping to explain how that three-and-a-half pound lump of squishy gray mater inside your head does what it does.

And on the nightstand: Time Reborn, by Lee Smolin; and The Idea Factory, by Jon Gertner.

Episode 1 of BookLab is now out!

Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Featured Book: Our Mathematical Universe, by Max Tegmark.

How many universes are there, anyway? Physicist Max Tegmark says there could be an infinite number of universes, and he argues the case in his latest book.

And on the nightstand: A Universe from Nothing, by Lawrence Krauss; and Me Myself and Why, by Jennifer Oullette.

Announcing BookLab: The science book review podcast!

Posted on Monday, January 5, 2015

I'm pleased to announce the launch of a new podcast called BookLab, hosted by myself and science journalist Amanda Gefter. Our goal with BookLab is to put science books under the microscope: With each new episode, we’ll look at what’s new in the world of popular science writing, from neurons to nanotech and from quarks to the cosmos. The first two episodes are now available on LibSyn, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes.

The James Webb Space Telescope takes shape

Posted on Saturday, January 3, 2015

It's one of the largest and most ambitious observatories ever conceived: The James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. I report for Quirks & Quarks on my recent behind-the-scenes tour of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where the JWST is taking shape.

Using gravity to explain the origin of time's arrow

Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014

Time appears to flow, and it does so in just one direction -- but why? In a feature story for COSMOS Magazine, I describe a bold new model which suggests that gravity plays a crucial role.

The Tommy dilemma: What are the limits of personhood?

Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2014

A group called the Nonhuman Rights Project is lobbying for “personhood” for chimpanzees and other high-functioning animals – but what are the philosophical implications? My report for The Philosopher’s Zone on Australia’s ABC radio network.

Shakespeare and the Stars

Posted on Saturday, December 6, 2014

Did one of Shakespeare's final plays allude to the astronomical work of Galileo? I examine the question of Shakespeare and the stars in a report for the Australian radio program, The Science Show.

Should Chimpanzees be Considered "Persons"?

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014

A court in New York has ruled that Tommy, a chimpanzee, doesn't qualify as a legal "person" -- but as I report for Discover magazine's blog, the legal wrangling, and the larger philosophical questions that swirl around human-animal relations, are sure to continue.


"Spider" Probes the Early Universe

Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This winter, a balloon-borne probe called "Spider" will study the early universe. It may even find evidence for the gravitational waves that eluded BICEP2 earlier this year. I report on the new experiment for Scientific American.

Eden Mills Writers' Festival

Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014

I'll be speaking at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival this weekend; my session will be on Sunday afternoon as part of a non-fiction panel (see the festival's full schedule). And I have more talks coming up this fall in Burlington, Mississauga, and Toronto; see my events page for more information. (Be sure to catch my presentation at Nerd Nite on Oct. 2!)