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 complicated legacy of Herbert Spencer

Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Herbert Spencer, born 200 years ago, was every bit as enamoured with evolution as Darwin was; it was he, not Darwin, who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest." But Spencer applied evolutionary thinking far beyond biology, laying the groundwork for what would come to be known as "social Darwinism."  In a feature for Smithsonian, I look at Spencer's complicated legacy.

A conversation with Alan M. Kraut

Posted on Friday, April 24, 2020

In this Q&A for Undark, I speak with the author of Silent Travelers about the complex interplay between immigration and issues of health and medicine.

A physicist's grand tour of the universe

Posted on Friday, April 17, 2020

In Until the End of Time, physicist Brian Greene explores a stunning array of human thought, from the big bang to evolution and consciousness. My review for Undark.

Must we all be more creative during a pandemic?

Posted on Sunday, March 29, 2020

Shakespeare and Newton had spectacular bursts of creativity while sheltering from the plague. It doesn't mean you have to. My blog post for Scientific American.

The quest for immortality

Posted on Friday, March 13, 2020

A new book asks whether we could one day achieve immortalty.  I review the book (with appropriate skepticism) for Undark magazine. 

Darwin was confident in his new theory -- His publisher, less so

Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The famed naturalist and his conservative publisher, John Murray III, formed an unlikely alliance in publiscizing a radical idea. This feature for Smithsonian magazine spotlights new research by Canadian scholar Sylvia Nickerson.

Fleming Medal award ceremony

Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

I was honoured to be awarded the Fleming Medal for Excellence in Science Communiaction in the fall of 2019. A ceremony was held on Dec. 3 at the University of Toronto, with her honour the Lietenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, in attendance.

New measurements pin down the proton's size

Posted on Sunday, December 1, 2019

Painstaking work by researchers at York University has pinned down the size of the proton -- and helped solve a problem that puzzled physicists for years. My report for Scientific American. (Article may be behind paywall.)

Three new books about consciousness

Posted on Friday, November 8, 2019

Three provocative new books explore the age-old question of how the brain gives rise to the mind. Read my review in Undark magazine.

Einstein, superstar

Posted on Monday, November 4, 2019

100 years ago, Albert Einstein became headline material for the first time. He would remain the object of public fascination and media scrutiny for the rest of his life. My feature for Smithsonian Magazine.