Photograph by Jonathan Bowen
Author and Journalist
Andrew Robinson is the author of more than twenty-five books, issued by leading general and academic publishers in the UK and the USA. They have been translated into thirteen European languages, as well as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese and Vietnamese. Several have become teaching texts in universities.
Their subjects cover three main areas:
They include six biographies, of both artists and scientists.
He also writes reviews and features for major newspapers, magazines and journals, in both the arts and sciences.
Contact address: andrew[at]andrew-robinson.org
His recent books include a biography of the decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphs, Jean-François Champollion, Cracking the Egyptian Code (Thames & Hudson/Oxford University Press USA, 2012), published in paperback by Thames & Hudson in January 2018; and India: A Short History (Thames & Hudson, 2014).
His latest books are:
a. Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity
(Princeton University Press, 2015)
an extended edition of his widely appreciated 2005 biography, published for the centenary of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity;
b. The Indus: Lost Civilizations
(Reaktion Books, 2015)
an introduction to the world's most enigmatic early civilisation;
c. Earth-Shattering Events
(Thames & Hudson, 2016)
a history of great earthquakes and their effects on nations and civilisation: always destructive, but sometimes also surprisingly creative.
He has also contributed an introduction to the memoirs of film producer Suresh Jindal, My Adventures with Satyajit Ray: The Making of Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players) (HarperCollins India, 2017), and a text for Faces and Facets: Satyajit Ray in Colour, a book of colour photographs by Nemai Ghosh (DAG [Delhi Art Gallery], to be published in 2018).
He is currently researching a book on an unfamiliar facet of Albert Einstein's life and science, commissioned by Yale University Press.
As a journalist, he has written features and reviews for many national newspapers and magazines in the UK and the USA, as follows:
a. newspapers include The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times and The Times;
b. science magazines and journals include Antiquity, Current World Archaeology, Endeavour, E&T (Engineering and Technology), (BBC) Focus, Geoscientist, The Lancet, Nature, New Scientist, Physics World and Science;
c. other magazines, journals and websites include Aeon, BBC History Magazine, British Museum Magazine, History Today, Minerva, The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, The Spectator, Sight and Sound, Times Higher Education and The Times Literary Supplement.
Plus entries in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
He has also appeared on BBC Radio and BBC Television, and acted as a consultant to two BBC TV programmes based on his work.
Talks and Lectures
He gives talks and lectures, at literary festivals, museums, academic conferences and other institutions and events.
Education and Career
An alumnus of the Dragon School, Oxford, he is a King's Scholar of Eton College. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford (in chemistry) and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (in South Asian area studies). From 2006-10, he was a visiting fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. His father, F. N. H. (Neville) Robinson, was a physicist at the University of Oxford from the 1950s to the 1990s.
He has received a number of academic grants towards his research, notably a fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, a research grant from the British Academy, and major grant from the John Templeton Foundation to study creativity, genius and breakthroughs in the arts and sciences.
He was on the staff of Macmillan Publishers from 1979-82, Granada Television from 1983-88 and the independent television production company Brian Lapping Associates from 1989-90, and was literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement in London from 1994-2006. He has extensive experience of editing reviews, essays and books written by authors in fields ranging from physics through finance and cookery to literature. In 2007, he became a full-time writer of books and journalism.
Read his article about his career, "Polymathic pursuits", in The Author, winter 2016, and his Wikipedia entry, and listen to him talking about polymathy on BBC Radio 4, 21 August 2017.
Copyright © 2016 Andrew Robinson. All rights reserved.