I once saw someone on the train avidly reading a newspaper. The reader scoured every page until coming to a spread of science news - here, and only here, they quickly flipped to the next section. What is it about the words "science" and "technology" that makes people feel they are ill-equipped to read on? Or that these fields don't impact their lives? Certainly, many feel this way - but reasons to stay informed have never been clearer. From the hacking of multinational firms to the discovery of particles that reveal the secrets of our universe - these stories keep breaking and they need to be told well.
Technology journalism should go beyond endless gadget reviews. And science journalism should not just be for the already-initiated. There are powerful and often quite human stories here. It's necessary to go deep, to get at that nexus between technology and society. And to explain how our understanding of science is evolving so that we can better comprehend epidemics, climate change or the conservation of endangered species - to name but a few examples. These things are, in a nutshell, what I'm constantly compelled to investigate. That's what I write about.
Photo: Kirsty Lucas
25th Jan 2017 - Governments are clamouring for access to encrypted messages - but is that a good idea?
The End of Anonymity
26th Oct 2013 - The cover story. A feature about concerns over online anonymity and the scientific research behind self-awareness.
Yahoo hack: should I panic?
15th Dec 2016 - What should Yahoo users do next, following a massive breach of their personal data?
The search for Britain's cicada
2nd Dec 2015 - There have been remarkable efforts to locate Britain's only native species of cicada, a creature not seen for 15 years.
Ashley Madison: Two women affected by the hack
27th Aug 2015 - Interviews with two women whose lives were impacted by the hacking of infidelity dating website Ashley Madison.
Inside a hunt for shipwrecked gold
11th Feb 2016 - A special feature in which I report on an American start-up that is using technology to retrieve gold coins from a 150-year old shipwreck.
Meet the bedroom detectives
2nd May 2014 - On the amateurs who solve missing persons cases via the web.
On the trail of Britain's cat killer
20th Dec 2016 - Someone, police believe, has killed and dismembered more than a hundred domestic cats in the UK.
The "loneliest" whale in the world
15th April 2015 - An unusual whale call has been picked heard in the oceans, but is the creature as lonely as some say?
Haulin' Data: How Truckers Became the Frontier of Work Surveillance
18th Nov 2013 - A special feature in which I explore the impact of new driving regulations facing American truckers.
Whatever Happened to the Phone Phreaks?
20th Feb 2013 - When computer hacking boomed in the 80s and 90s, it looked up to a much older sibling in "phreaking", the act of hacking telephone networks.
Made to measure
30th May 2015 - Will robot sewing machines revolutionise the textile industry and bring garmet manufacturing back to the west?
Video in Demand
6th Dec 2014 - Video streaming is booming, but what technological innovations help media companies deliver high volumes of content? For The Economist's Tech Quarterly.
Hiding from big data
7th Jun 2014 - A feature for The Economist's Tech Quarterly supplement in which I discuss techniques for enhancing privacy, and whether anyone wants to pay for them.
Hunting for bugs in other people's code is big money
26th Sep 2016
How 3D scanning let the Mail Rail prevail
14th Jul 2015
David Cameron hates your privacy
13th Jan 2015
British survivalists are ready for Ebola
14th Oct 2014
One of the joys of reporting on up-to-the-minute developments in science and technology is getting the chance to talk about these subjects to wide audiences. I've had the pleasure of appearing on BBC World TV, Sky TV, BBC World Radio, BBC Radio 4 and other international radio stations. What's more, I've spoken at a smattering of events on a variety of topics - from the dark side of video games to the ways that websites experiment on you without you knowing. These talks are often good entry points into the subjects that I write about and are designed to be accessible and informative. I've always got one or two ideas for talks tucked away so if you're looking for someone to speak at your next science and / or technology themed event, don't hesitate to get in touch (below). In the meantime, here's an example of one of my talks at a CyberSalon event in London, from November 2014.
Photo: Humanise the Web
In November 2010 I launched a website called "The Machine Starts". The name came from E. M. Forster's 1909 short story, The Machine Stops. In the story, inhabitants of a dystopian future live within the cells of a giant, subterranean machine that answers to their every whim and connects individuals across a neglected globe. Does that sound like the Internet to you? It does to some. TMS was an effort to document and discuss the role of recent technological change as part of the human experience. For over three years I wrote about significant events in digital culture and dealt with topics such as consumerism, technophobia, social network theory and the language of the web. A few examples of popular posts are linked to below.
IRL or it Didn't Happen: Why We Still Dismiss the Digital (24th Jul. 2013)
Malice, Crime and Secret War: How "Cyber" Became the Prefix of Evil (15th Jul. 2013)
"The Wheel of the Devil": On Vine, gifs and the power of the loop (28th Jan. 2013)
How We Started Calling Visual Metaphors "Skeuomorphs" (13th Nov. 2012)
Facebook, the Projected Self and Narcissism (11th Jul. 2011)