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

Is dark matter made of axions?

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

New experimental results suggest these long-sought subatomic particles could explain the universe’s missing mass. My report for Scientific American.

Episode 23 of BookLab is out!

Posted on Sunday, May 17, 2020

Episode 23 of BookLab is now out! Our featured book is The Feeling of Life Itself by neuroscientist Christof Koch. Koch, who has spent decades studying the neural basis of consciousness, examines the age-old question of how the brain gives rise to the mind. And on the nightstand: Supernavigators, by David Barrie; and The Math of Life & Death, by Kit Yates.

A conversation with Paolo Giordano

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2020

In a Q&A for Undark, I speak with the author of How Contagion Works about the wider effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of normality.

Arrows of Time

Posted on Monday, May 4, 2020

The human mind has long grappled with the nature of time. I contributed the text for this multimedia project -- a "timeline of time" -- for Quanta magazine, encompassing ideas from physics, biology, culture, and timekeeping. Artwork by Eleanor Lutz and Olena Shmahalo.


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.