About Science Fictions

Welcome to Science Fictions! This is the Substack newsletter that follows on from my 2020 book of the same name, which was about fraud, bias, negligence and hype in science. If it’s about where research goes wrong, I’m interested: not because I want to attack science, but because healthy scepticism is what science is all about. I’m also interested in ways that we can fix these problems - whether that involves changes in scientific publishing, statistics, culture, or policy.

Each week (on average) I plan to post an essay, an analysis, a point-by-point response, or a book review on a scientific topic. Because I’m a psychologist by training (I’m currently a Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London) the topics will tend towards the social- and behavioural-science end of things, but I’ve also got expertise in areas like neuroscience and behaviour-genetics, and I’m interested in science—and its bad side—more generally.

If you’d like to suggest a topic for me to cover, or tip me off about some dodgy scientific claims (in scientific papers, the mainstream press, or anywhere else), then please do get in touch. The comments at the bottom of each post will be open, and I’m happy to receive any of your ideas or suggestions—or criticisms—there.

The Science Fictions podcast

For each post, I’ll also record an audio version. This will be me reading the post aloud (in what has been described by a reviewer of my audiobook as my “lovely” Scottish accent). I know that many people prefer to consume their science writing this way, so I’m happy to oblige.

In future I might expand the podcast beyond “read-alouds” of my articles, and bring on some guests to talk about scientific research. Watch this space for more on that.

Why subscribe?

You might also want to subscribe if you’re any of the following kinds of people:

  • Someone who wants a rational, sensible, non-political take on the latest scientific controversies;

  • Someone who reads a lot of science news but wants to see a more critical angle;

  • Someone who isn’t a scientist but wants to see behind the scenes of how science is actually done;

  • A student who wants to sharpen their statistical or critical analysis skills;

  • Someone who is interested in ideas to reform and improve our scientific system.

Since it’s a good bet that you’re in at least one of those categories, you should consider clicking the button below to subscribe. Thanks so much for reading.