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 last explosions before the universe goes dark

Posted on Monday, August 17, 2020

Long after the last stars burn out, long after the last black holes evaporate, white dwarfs can still explode in supernova-like blasts. These will be the last explosions -- the last anything, really -- in the universe's history. My report for National Geographic.


Review of The Precipice by Toby Ord

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2020

In The Precipice, Toby Ord sees humanity at a crossroads, and examines the many existential risks to our survival. My review for Undark magazine.

One of the brightest comets in decades is passing Earth. Here's how to see it.

Posted on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Comet NEOWISE may be the brightest comet for northern hemisphere skywatchers since Hale-Bopp back in 1997. My report for National Geographic.

Fraught Frontier

Posted on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Satellite "constellations" are crowding the skies, causing conflict between astronomers, governments, and businesses. My feature story for SkyNews magazine.

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.