Reviews for The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe
A "lucid history of early Renaissance science" — The National Post
"...a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the astronomical knowledge of the era" — The Chronicle-Herald
"Falk takes the reader on an eventful tour through science in the early modern era...It’s an enjoyable read, and will appeal to non-specialists, but nonetheless is based on a comprehensive engagement with the pertinent academic scholarship. The work is well-informed, enthusiastic, and recommended to anyone seeking a new take on the oft-studied Bard." — Chemistry World
It's one of the largest and most ambitious observatories ever conceived: The James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. I report for Quirks & Quarks on my recent behind-the-scenes tour of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where the JWST is taking shape.
Time appears to flow, and it does so in just one direction -- but why? In a feature story for COSMOS Magazine, I describe a bold new model which suggests that gravity plays a crucial role.
A group called the Nonhuman Rights Project is lobbying for “personhood” for chimpanzees and other high-functioning animals – but what are the philosophical implications? My report for The Philosopher’s Zone on Australia’s ABC radio network.
Did one of Shakespeare's final plays allude to the astronomical work of Galileo? I examine the question of Shakespeare and the stars in a report for the Australian radio program, The Science Show.
A court in New York has ruled that Tommy, a chimpanzee, doesn't qualify as a legal "person" -- but as I report for Discover magazine's blog, the legal wrangling, and the larger philosophical questions that swirl around human-animal relations, are sure to continue.
This winter, a balloon-borne probe called "Spider" will study the early universe. It may even find evidence for the gravitational waves that eluded BICEP2 earlier this year. I report on the new experiment for Scientific American.
I'll be speaking at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival this weekend; my session will be on Sunday afternoon as part of a non-fiction panel (see the festival's full schedule). And I have more talks coming up this fall in Burlington, Mississauga, and Toronto; see my events page for more information. (Be sure to catch my presentation at Nerd Nite on Oct. 2!)
I'm pleased to announce that my two-part Ideas documentary from 2013, Mind and Machine, has won a Silver Award from the New York Festivals. This is the third time that one of my Ideas documentaries has been recognized by the Festivals ("In the Beginning" won a Gold in 2004, and "Living on Oxford Time" won a Silver in 2009).
"Eugene Goostman," a chatbot designed to act like a 13-year-old boy, was recently said to have passed the Turing test. In this segment on Day 6, on CBC Radio One, I chat about chatbots and A.I. with host Brent Bambury, while listeners try to distinguish Eugene from two real 13-year-old boys.
It was widely reported last weekend that a "chatbot" had passed the famous Turing test for the first time. As I explain in an article for Smithsonian.com, the real story is more complicated. AI is making progress in many areas, but conversation skills remain elusive.