His recent books include:

a. Cracking the Egyptian Code 

(Thames & Hudson/Oxford University Press USA, 2012, published in paperback by Thames & Hudson in 2018)

a biography of the decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphs, Jean-François Champollion

b. India: A Short History 

(Thames & Hudson, 2014, which will appear in paperback in July 2019)
c. 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
d. The Indus: Lost Civilizations
(Reaktion Books, 2015) 
an introduction to the world's most enigmatic early civilisation
e. 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 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).


He recently completed a biographical study of Albert Einstein's fruitful and complex relationship with Britain--scientific, political and cultural--from the 1890s until Einstein's death in 1955. It will be published by Yale University Press in the second half of 2019: the centenary of the confirmation of Einstein's general theory of relativity by British astronomers, which launched Einstein as an international star in 1919.


He has also contributed the opening essay, "The origins of writing", to an exhibition catalogue, Writing: Making Your Mark, accompanying a British Library exhibition, scheduled to run from April-August 2019.

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 TelegraphThe Financial TimesThe GuardianThe IndependentThe New York TimesThe Times and The Wall Street Journal;
b. science magazines and journals include AntiquityCurrent World ArchaeologyEndeavourE&T (Engineering and Technology), (BBC) FocusGeoscientistThe LancetNatureNew ScientistPhysics World and Science;
c. other magazines, journals and websites include AeonBBC History MagazineBritish Museum MagazineHistory TodayMinervaThe Journal of the Royal Asiatic SocietyThe SpectatorSight and SoundTimes 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. His most recent lecture, "The origins of writing" at the British Museum in January 2019, packed out both of the theatres at the museum.

Education and Career
An alumnus of the Dragon School, Oxford, he is a King's Scholar of Eton College. He holds degrees from University College, 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.


Photograph by Jonathan Bowen

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, Persian, Taiwanese and Vietnamese. Several have become teaching texts in universities.

Their subjects cover three main areas:

  • science and the history of science;
  • archaeology and scripts;
  • Indian history and culture.

They include six biographies, of both artists and scientists.

A former literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement, 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

Andrew Robinson

Author and Journalist