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 15 of BookLab is now out!

Posted on Thursday, February 8, 2018

Episode 15 of BookLab is now out, featuring AI, evolution, and more!

We're on iTunes, and you can also find us on SoundCloud. Enjoy!


The Value of Thought Experiments

Posted on Sunday, January 28, 2018

Science is rooted in "empiricism" -- the idea that the only way to learn about nature is via experiment and observation. But what if you could gain new knowledge just by thinking about a problem? In this feature for The Philosopher's Zone, on ABC Radio National (Australia), I look at the strange world of "thought experiments." (See also my feature in Aeon from December 2017.)

NASA's proposed Deep Space Gateway could be a stepping stone for Mars and beyond

Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2018

For the first time in nearly half a century, NASA is hoping to send astronauts beyong low-earth orbit. I wrote about the proposed Deep Space Gateway in this feature story for

Armchair science

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Galileo and Einstein were masters of the "thought experiment." But how can these exercises of the imagination tell us anything about the actual, physical world? My feature story for Aeon.

The rise of smart machines puts spotlight on "robot rights"

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2017

As our machines get smarter and smarter, will the day come when they ask for -- or deserve -- some sort of rights? My report for

When a pair of neutron stars collided, the hunt for the "optical counterpart" was on...

Posted on Friday, November 17, 2017

When gravitational wave detectors registered ripples in space-time from a pair of colliding neutron stars, the race was on to see if we could also see it, using optical telescopes. My report for University of Toronto Magazine.

We just sent a message to a nearby planetary system

Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2017

Astronomers have sent a radio message to a planetary system just 12 light years away, in case there's anyone there. But "METI" (messaging extra-terrestrial intelligence) has always been controversial, as I report for New Scientist.

Bang! A pair of colliding neutron stars opens up a new era in astrophysics

Posted on Monday, October 16, 2017

For the first time, astronomers have detected gravitational waves from a pair of merging neutron stars -- and they've also seen in optically and via radio waves, gamma rays, and more. As I report for Mental Floss, it's a breakthrough on many fronts.

Are self-flying planes on the horizon?

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2017

With self-driving cars moving ever-closer to becoming a reality, it's only natural to wonder if self-flying planes may be next. As I report in this feature for, pilotless air travel may be closer than you think.

Hooked on Solar Eclipses

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2017

On August 21, millions of people in North America got to see a total solar eclipse. That same morning, CBC Radio's The Current aired a pre-recordrd essay in which I try to explain the irresistible appeal of standing in the "path of totality." (When it aired, I was in Oregon enjoying the eclipse!)