Philip Ball - Science writer

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Philip Ball - Science writer

'One of our most versatile and gripping science writers.' John Carey


A Short Biography - Philip Ball

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Philip Ball is a freelance science writer. He worked previously at Nature for over 20 years, first as an editor for physical sciences (for which his brief extended from biochemistry to quantum physics and materials science) and then as a Consultant Editor. His writings on science for the popular press have covered topical issues ranging from cosmology to the future of molecular biology.

Philip is the author of many popular books on science, including works on the nature of water, pattern formation in the natural world, colour in art, the science of social and political philosophy, the cognition of music, and physics in Nazi Germany. He has written widely on the interactions between art and science, and has delivered lectures to scientific and general audiences at venues ranging from the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) to the NASA Ames Research Center and the London School of Economics.

Philip continues to write regularly for Nature. He has contributed to publications ranging from New Scientist to the New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and New Statesman. He is a regular contributor to Prospect magazine (for which he writes a science blog), and also a columnist for Chemistry World, Nature Materials, BBC Future and the Italian science magazine Sapere. He has broadcast on many occasions on radio and TV, and in June 2004 he presented a three-part serial on nanotechnology, 'Small Worlds', on BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and sits on the editorial board of Chemistry World, a member of the advisory council for the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, and a board member of the RESOLV network on solvation science at the Ruhr University of Bochum.

Philip has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Physics from the University of Bristol.



3 July
"Invisible: The Allure of the Unseen"
Royal Society Summer Exhibition, 6.30 pm
Royal Society, London

Details here.





Invisible:The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen

Published by Bodley Head, 2014.

Invisible presents the first comprehensive survey of the roles that the idea of invisibility has played throughout time and culture. This territory takes us from medieval grimoires to cutting-edge nanotechnology, from fairy tales to telecommunications, from camouflage to early cinematography, and from beliefs about ghosts to the dawn of nuclear physics and the discovery of dark energy. We need to attend to many voices: to Plato and Shakespeare, to James Clerk Maxwell and Victorian music-hall magicians. We will discover new worlds: some of them already known, some sheer fantasy, others whose existence has been asserted but is yet to be proved.



"All set for chemistry", Chemistry World June 2015, p46-49.

Available here.