Category Archives: Science without worms

The economic benefits of heresy

This seems to have been written as a talk. Maybe it was a sermon I gave. I can’t remember; but it’s an idea I worked on for at least a decade, starting when I was trying to analyse everything from … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, God, Science without worms | 2 Comments

Plugging Marek

I had to call Marek Kohn the other day, because I was thinking about the Chief Rabbi’s eugenics, and this led me to reread A reason for everything. It really is good. The discussion of Bill Hamilton in particular is … Continue reading

Posted in God, Literature, Science without worms | 1 Comment

Wiley Interscience

… may sodomise themselves with spiky reindeer antlers. I am paying their exorbitant charges for article reprints: $34.44 with VAT; and each one comes with the following boilerplate: IMPORTANT: You now have 24-hour access to this content. Access to this … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Journalism, Science without worms | 10 Comments

New and noted from PLOS

I came across this when looking for a report about empathy in mice: The mouse empathy story turns out to be of rather more lasting interest. I had been going to use it as an example of sloppy journalism: the … Continue reading

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Wonderful fanmail

I think this is the best response I could possibly have had to the Worm book: Hi Andrew We read of your book in the FT about Sweden being great Swedophiles – it was a great book capturing lots of … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Science without worms | 4 Comments

Funhouse mirror on the wall

via Razib, I just stumbled on this global obesity chart. No prizes for guessing that the fattest people on earth are Americans, at 30% obese, and it’s reasonable that Britain, at 23% shoud be in third place. But—except that it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Science without worms, Sweden | 6 Comments


You can induce egglaying in frogs (Not safe for frog lovers) by injecting them with human hormones: I learned this indirectly from a letter this morning about my column on wikigenes, which turned out to appeal to an Oxford researcher … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Journalism, Science without worms | Comments Off on Snippets

She’s done the research

“The Sandoz acid was the Cadillac of drugs. The Owsley acid was a Mercedes with two flat tyres. It was a bumpy ride…” Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, from a podcast Q&A session with an audience I found on my disk, … Continue reading

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FT review of Fishing in Utopia

Another gratifying review, from the Financial Times, where Hugh Carnegy, the executive editor, likes Fishing in Utopia,a lot, though he thinks, god knows why, that I am “a melancholy soul”. It is the window on Sweden that gives this book … Continue reading

Posted in Journalism, Literature, Science without worms, Sweden, Travel notes | 3 Comments

A Pelican History

England in the Eighteenth Century is a lovely, succinct and succulent volume from the Pelican History of England, written in 1950, at a time of fierce self-improvement. To quote the contemporary review in the Listener: As a portent in the … Continue reading

Posted in British politics, Literature, Science without worms, War | 1 Comment