Everything you might think you think about the human response to apocalyptic times is wrong (and, in other content, some new-ish music)

Sign-up for my Brain Pizza newsletter: ‘Slices of writing on brains, behaviour & anything between’ – straight to your inbox (easy signup;  easy unsubscribe). Contents: A piece I originally wrote for a panel appearance* at the wonderful Long Room Hub at Trinity College Dublin online public series: Rethinking Democracy in an Age of Pandemic. I… Read More

YANSS 189 – Why we must use social science to fight misinformation, partisanship, conspiratorial thinking, and general confusion when we finally have a vaccine for COVID-19

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we sit down with four experts on vaccines, epidemiology, psychology, and science communication to try and understand how we created so much confusion about COVID-19, and how we can avoid doing so again when a vaccine is ready for widespread, public distribution. Also in… Read More

YANSS 182 – Why we find A/B testing icky when it comes to policies, practices, medicine, and social media

In 1835, at a tavern in Bavaria, a group of 120 people once met to drink from a randomized assortment of glass vials. Before shuffling them, they divided the vials into two sets. One contained distilled water from a recent snowfall and the other a solution made by collecting 100 drops of that water and… Read More

Why Walking Matters—Now More Than Ever (essay in the Wall St Journal)

I have an essay up on today’s Wall Street Journal. Snippet: Why does walking make us feel good? We all know that a satisfying stroll changes our outlook. Perhaps we realize it all the more today, when so many of us are hunkered down and this simple activity is a challenge. But walking is especially… Read More

Robert MacFarlane’s ‘Underworld’ – a very short review of a remarkable and astonishing book

This is one of the most remarkable and astonishing books I’ve ever read. It’s one of those rare books that you can’t wait return to, hate putting down b/c you’re drooling with sleep and your eyes can’t focus any more, and you want to start again when you’re finished reading it. Completing Underworld comes with… Read More

A small but persistent peeve: Journal referencing styles are a waste of time

Context: there are many things wrong with academic publishing (the financial winners and losers from the unpaid burden of peer review, for a start). But here’s a simple one: the house style for referencing for journals is utterly inconsistent, user unfriendly and a staggering waste of time. It would make life easier for everyone if… Read More

In Praise of Walking – My new book

In Praise of Walking is now available in hardback, paperback and Audible versions. You can get it via:;; PenguinRandomHouse; Audible Sign up for my newsletter here, and have content delivered direct to your inbox (unsubscribe anytime)! Some reviews: New Scientist: ‘’informative and persuasive enough to rouse the most ardent couch potato’ The Times: “Fascinating …… Read More