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Hello.

Welcome to this piece of internet I bought

This is where I keep links to the favourite articles I've written. It isn't a blog. It isn't even really a portfolio: it's just a handy place to keep the pieces I'm most attached to, the interviews that went best, and the topics that get me the excited. You're reading my digital scrapbook.

Who I am and what I do

I've been a journalist for almost 20 years. Also a researcher and an interviewer. I write mostly about health, science, and technology and the ethics thereof, but I also used to write regularly on defence - so if I suddenly veer off into talking about fighter jets or submarines, that'll be why.

 

I studied bioethics for my master's, where I wrote a lot about bioterrorism and pandemics and then a dissertation on the rights and wrongs of engineering 'better' humans - with reference to Chinese parenting, South Korean makeover shows, the Cold War, cuttlefish, the platypus, prosthetic limbs, Russian doping scandals and Red Dwarf.

My first collection of short stories, Auxiallary Organs, will be published in late 2022. I'm also finishing a novel, but for the life of me I can't think of a name. So, my debut novel, Novel (working title) will be out by the end of the year.

If you would like to read some articles

They're to the right on the desktop version and on mobile/cell phones they seem to show up as and where they please, except on the left. If the articles do appear on the left, it's probably fine but bear in mind they're untested in this state. Use your own best judgement.

Some of them are also quite old, so please handle with care. A man should be waiting at your window with historian's gloves. This man is an impostor and under no circumstances should you open the window, no matter how many gloves he has or offers in trade.

If you'd like to get in touch, or commission me to write something, here's my contact page.

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Could We Fall In Love With Robots? - ​What does a human being need for companionship? And can that be replicated by an app, an amourous Alexa or a built-for-purpose robot?

Dr. Diana Fleischman, Dr. John Danaher, Dr. Kate Devlin

 

What To Do With Pandemic Flu - A two-month investigation into pandemic disease planning and prevention written within weeks of the first reports of Covid-19.
 

Professor Derek Smith; Ellen Fragaszy, senior research fellow, University College London Institute of Health Informatics

 

What Will Tomorrow's Kids Make of Robot Pets? - Exploring how and why children cherish smart toys, and how the distinction between synthetic and natural is closing.

 

Dr. Fangwu Tung; Mark Palatucci, co-founder and head of cloud AI & machine learning, Anki.

How to Live When Nobody Dies - Examining the science, ethics (and likelihood) of an ageless society.

Professor John Harris

What's Wrong With Eating People? - "Extolling the virtues of cannibalism." - A US blogger who did not read the article but really livened up my Twitter for a week.

Dr. Bill Schutt, Dr. Koert Van Mensvoort, Dr. John Loike

A Shortage of Legitimate Donors Is Fuelling the Black Market Organ Trade - In a free market, who's to say what a person does with their 'spare' kidney?

Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor Monir Moniruzzaman

Brainjacking: are medical implants the next target for hackers? - We protect phones and laptops better than pacemakers and DBS implants. For all our sakes this must change.

 

Dr. Laurie Pycroft

Why Some Parents Choose to Have a Deaf Baby - Is deafness a culture, or a disability? And should couples be allowed to choose it for their children?

Paul Redfern; Anna Tsekouras British Deaf Association

In the future, there will be a pill for falling in love - What would it mean to choose the people we love? Or have others choose for us?

Dr. Brian Earp

Could 3D-printed organs be medicine’s next black market? - A cheaply grown replacement organ is better than no organ at all, right?

Dr. Bertalan Mesko