I contributed an essay, Materiel World, to NATO: The Military Codification System for the Ordering of Everything in the World (2008), the record of artist Suzanne Treister's NATO project .
the stories old towns tell: a journey through cities at the heart of europeYale University Press, April 2023
An introduction to The Stories Old Towns Tell from a city in the heart of Europe.
Szaber Square: trading 'loot' and possessions in devastated post-war Wrocław.
Fritz Haarman: the serial killer who gave an Old Town a bad name.
Modern Old Town, Traditional Island.
four words for friend: The Rewards of Using More Than One Language In A Divided World
Yale University Press, 2020
'Beautifully written … Makes a powerful case for knowing more than one language as a life-enriching skill that may enlarge our sympathies in a world that wants to build walls.' Steven Poole, Guardian
Yale University Press, 2019
turned out nice: how the british isles will change as the world heats up
Faber & Faber, 2010
Climate change will change the
relationships between the British Isles and the rest
of the world, between the nations of the Isles, and
between the north and south of Britain. Precisely
because the British Isles will be sheltered from the
physical extremes of climate change, they offer an
opportunity to think about just how profound and
pervasive the effects of a disrupted Earth system on
human societies will be.
' ... delightful coolness and subtlety' Andrew Marr, Financial Times
' a tour de force of information and speculation ... Nature writing which takes the future and its possibilities as seriously as the past ' The Economist
'intimate and stylish' Fred Pearce, Guardian
' a science writer of rare gifts' Marcus Berkmann, Daily Mail
trust: self-interest and the common good
Oxford University Press, 2008
A short account of how to build
trust by finding or creating common interests.
'Brilliant' - Guardian
a reason for everything: natural selection and the english imagination
Faber & Faber, 2004
How a series of British
scientists shaped evolutionary thought, and how
evolutionary thinking shaped their views of the world:
Alfred Russel Wallace, Ronald Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane,
John Maynard Smith, Bill Hamilton and Richard Dawkins.
'a supremely intelligent author’ Graham Farmelo, Sunday Telegraph
'a wonderful writer' A.C. Grayling, Literary Review
'One of the best science writers we have' Andrew Brown, Guardian
'yet another brilliant book' Neal Ascherson, Observer
'A marvellous book' James Flint, New Scientist
'a very good book' Richard Fortey FRS
'a talented and witty writer' Paul Harvey FRS, Times Higher Education Supplement
as we know it: coming to terms with an evolved mind
'Utterly fascinating ... a beautiful and moving picture of evolution.' Andrew Marr, Observer
the race gallery: the return of racial science
Jonathan Cape, 1995
The Race Gallery reflected
on different ways of thinking and talking about race.
It pointed out that ideas about biologically based
differences between human groups persisted or
reappeared in various strands of science, although
opposition to racism drew on science as a source of
'elegant, timely and devastating'
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
'invaluable' Tom Nairn, London
Review of Books
dope girls: the birth of the british drug underground
Moral panics broke out during and
after the First World War as reports emerged of drug
use on the streets and in the clubs of London's West
End. They expressed a traumatised society's fears
about modernity and change - especially the rapidly
changing lives of young women.
'The best, most perceptive and
most authoritative account of the British drug scene
ever.' Will Self
narcomania: On heroin
Faber & Faber, 1987
How panics about drugs express
society's deepest anxieties.