by Andrew Robinson

Journalism

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Above is the introduction to a review of a British Museum exhibition on the Egyptian Book of the Dead in 2010--see link immediately below.


Read a wide variety of general-interest reviews of books, exhibitions and films, followed by features, including profiles and obituaries, written by AR for British and American newspapers and magazines:

 

REVIEWS

 

2007: "Einstein on and off the soapbox", New Scientist, 14 April 2007
--of Einstein on Politics by David Rowe and Robert Schulmann + Einstein: A Biography by Walter Isaacson

 

2008: "Rocket man"The Financial Times, 5/6 January 2008
--of Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War by Michael J. Neufeld

 

2010: "How to behave beyond the grave", Nature, 2 December 2010
--of the British Museum exhibition, Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
 
2011: "High society", History Today, February 2011

--of the Wellcome Collection exhibition, High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture

 

2011: "The captain and the castaway", The Independent, 17 June 2011
--of Crusoe: Daniel Defoe, Robert Knox and the Creation of Myth by Katherine Frank

 

2014: "The brewer's tale", Current World Archaeology, 68, 2014
--of The Brewer's Tale: A History of the World According to Beer by William Bostwick

 

2015: "Ringing changes on vital information", Physics World, February 2015
--of Information Age: Six Networks That Changed the World, edited by Tilly Blyth

 

2015: "The ascent of English", Nature, 12 March 2015
--of Scientific Babel: The Language of Science from the Fall of Latin to the Rise of English by Michael Gordin
--listen to a Nature podcast about the review


2015: "Reality change and check", The Lancet, 21 November 2015

--of the film, Steve Jobs


2016: "Artist and empire", History Today, February 2016
--of the Tate Britain exhibition, Artist and Empire: Facing Britain's Imperial Past

 

2016: "Asylums and after", Science, 14 October 2016

--of the Wellcome Collection exhibition, Bedlam: The Asylum and Beyond

 

2016: "Four shakes a second", The Daily Telegraph, 15 October 2016

--of Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher

   

2017: "All around Turing", New Scientist, 7 January 2017

--of The Turing Guide by Jack Copeland, Jonathan Bowen, Mark Sprevak and Robin Wilson

 

2017: "The cradle of humanity", Current World Archaeology, 81, 2017

--of The Cradle of Humanity: How the Changing Landscape of Africa Made Us So Smart by Mark Maslin


2017: "Hipposandals, plague pits and chamberpots", The Lancet, 8 April 2017

--of the Museum of London exhibition, Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail


2017: "Prophet of the space age", The Daily Telegraph, 9 December 2017

--of Arthur C. Clarke: Odyssey of a Visionary by Neil McAleer


2018: "Einstein goes east", Science, 18 May 2018

--of The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein: The Far East, Palestine, and Spain, 1922-1923, edited by Ze'ev Rosenkranz

 

2018: "Revisiting the culture wars", Nature, 5 July 2018

--of A Future in Ruins: Unesco, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace, by Lynn Meskell


2018: "A physicist's final reflections", Science, 16 November 2018

--of Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking


2019: "How Victorian England inspired Vincent van Gogh and his art", The Lancet, 27 April 2019

--of the film about Van Gogh, At Eternity's Gate + the Tate Britain exhibition, Van Gogh and Britain


​2019: "More than a merchant's trading route", Science, 20 December 2019

--of Silk Roads: Peoples, Cultures, Landscapes, edited by Susan Whitfield


2020: "Apocalyptic archaeology", Nature, 27 February 2020

--of Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon by Eric Cline


2020: "Indian sun", Sight and Sound, May 2020

--of Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar by Oliver Craske


​2020: "Net entanglement", Physics World, July 2020

--of The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us by James Ball


FEATURES


1998: "'I've been in revolt all my life'", The Times, 4 February 1998
--profile of Henri Cartier-Bresson


1998: "Cutting edge of cinema", The Guardian, 7 September 1998
--obituary of Akira Kurosawa
 
2000: "Mayan treasures deep in the jungle", The Times, 19 August 2000
--on visiting Mayan art in Mexico

2002: "'I had no idea that madness in the Islamic world had gone so far'", The Times, 7 August 2002

--profile of V. S. Naipaul on his 70th birthday

2004: "Henri Cartier-Bresson", The Guardian, 5 August 2004
--obituary of Henri Cartier-Bresson

2005: "Ray of light still shines in the dark", The Times, 18 August 2005
--on the 50th anniversary of Satyajit Ray's first film, Pather Panchali


2014: "How do we know how to measure longitude?", (BBC) Focus, Summer 2014
--on the history of measuring longitude in the 300th anniversary of the Longitude Prize


2015: "Restored Apu Trilogy returns Satyajit Ray's humane work to theaters", The New York Times,
10 May 2015 
--on the US re-release of a restored version of Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy


2016: "London shaken and stirred", BBC History Magazine, April 2016
--on the London earthquakes of 1750

2016: "Forgotten Utopia", New Scientist, 17 September 2016 
--on the ancient Indus civilisation and its puzzling absence of warfare (cover story)


2017: "He wrote the future", Nature, 19 January 2017
--profile of Arthur C. Clarke on his birth centenary


2018: "Thus spake Albert", Aeon, 12 March 2018
--on why we love to quote, and misquote, Albert Einstein

2018: "Tom Lehrer at 90", Nature, 5 April 2018
--profile of Tom Lehrer on his 90th birthday


2019: "The experiment that made Einstein famous", The Wall Street Journal, 14 February 2019
--on the centenary of the 1919 solar eclipse and its confirmation of general relativity


2019: "How Britain saved Einstein", BBC History Magazine, December 2019

--on Albert Einstein's escape to Britain from Nazi death threats in 1933



​The following reviews and features are of more specialised interest, covering Science and the History of Science, Archaeology and Scripts, and Indian History and Culture:


SCIENCE AND THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE

 

2005: "A polymath's dilemma", Nature, 17 November 2005

--feature on Thomas Young, and polymathy in science

 

2014: "How do we know the structure of the periodic table?", (BBC) Focus, March 2014
--feature on the history of the periodic table of the chemical elements

2014: "Good scientists and honest people", Physics World, June 2014
--review of Nuclear Dawn: F. E. Simon and the Race for Atomic Weapons in World War II by Kenneth D. McRae

2016: "In search of Ramanujan", Nature, 31 March 2016
--review of the film about Srinivasa Ramanujan, The Man Who Knew Infinity
 

2016: "The Marconi connection", New Scientist, 13 August 2016
--review of Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World by Marc Raboy

 

2016: "Use a toad to catch a quake", New Scientist, 3 December 2016

--feature on Zhang Heng, inventor of the world's first seismoscope

 

2017: "The mathematics of life, death, and beauty", The Lancet, 18 February 2017

--review of the Mathematics Gallery at the Science Museum and its catalogue by David Rooney

 ​

2017: "Scientist, theologian, and heretic", The Lancet, 7 October 2017

--review of Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton by Rob Iliffe


2019: "The eclipse that made Einstein famous", Science, 10 May 2019

--review of Einstein's War: How Relativity Triumphed amid the Vicious Nationalism of World War I by Matthew Stanley + No Shadow of a Doubt: The 1919 Eclipse that Confirmed Einstein's Theory of Relativity by Daniel Kennefick


2019: "The tempestuous genius of Fritz Zwicky", Physics World, December 2019

--review of Zwicky: The Outcast Genius Who Unmasked the Universe by John Johnson Jr


​2020: "Books in Brief", Nature, 5 March 2020

--short reviews of five science books


ARCHAEOLOGY AND SCRIPTS

 

2002: "Cracking the Linear B code", BBC History Magazine, July 2002

--feature on the 50th anniversary of Michael Ventris's decipherment of Linear B

 

2006: "Visible marks of the move from sound to stone", The Times Higher Education Supplement, 24 February 2006
--review of The First Writing: Script Invention as History and Process edited by Stephen Houston + Ideogram by J. Marshall Unger


2009: "Decoding antiquity: eight scripts that still can’t be read", New Scientist, 30 May 2009 
--feature based on Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts (cover story)

 
2010: "Corpus of Indus seals and inscriptions", Antiquity, 2010
--review of volume 3 of the Corpus edited by Asko Parpola, B. M. Pande and Petteri Koskikallio
 
2014: "Eight mummies, eight stories", The Lancet, 21 June 2014
--review of the British Museum Egyptian exhibition, Ancient Lives, New Discoveries
 
2014: "The ark before Noah", Current World Archaeology, 66, 2014
--review of The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood by Irving Finkel​
 
2017: "Gibberish or code?", The Daily Telegraph, 12 August 2017
--review of The Voynich Manuscript with a foreword by Stephen Skinner and introduction by Rafal T. Prinke and Rene Zandbergen
 
2017: "The wonder of the pyramids", Nature, 19 October 2017
--review of Giza and the Pyramids by Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass

2018: "Hero of the hieroglyphs", Minerva, May-June 2018
--feature on Jean-François Champollion

2019: "Excavating Uruk", Science, 22 November 2019
--review of Uruk: First City of the Ancient World edited by Timothy Potts
 
INDIAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

1999: "India: heat, dust and fading glory", The Daily Telegraph, 10 July 1999
--feature on visiting the Shekhawati murals of Rajasthan

2011: "Behind India's technological boom", Nature, 7 April 2011
--review of Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves
by Shehzad Nadeem
 
2012: "Deep Focus", Sight and Sound, June 2012
--review of Deep Focus: Reflections on Cinema by Satyajit Ray
 
2012: "Ravi Shankar", The Independent, 12 December 2012
--obituary of Ravi Shankar 

2013: "A too-soft critique of India's growth", Science, 6 September 2013
--review of An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions by Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen
 
2013: "The scientific Buddha: his short and happy life", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, October 2013
--review of The Scientific Buddha: His Short and Happy Life by Donald S. Lopez Jr

2014: "Charm and muddle", The Times Literary Supplement, 1 August 2014
--review of A Strange Kind of Paradise:India Through Foreign Eyes by Sam Miller

2016: "A people's history", BBC  History Magazine, March 2016
--review of Incarnations: India in 50 Lives by Sunil Khilnani​
 

2017: "Little more than tea and cricket", History Today, April 2017

--review of Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor


2019: "Unicorns from Utopia", British Museum Magazine, Autumn 2019

--feature on the Indus civilisation


2020: "Buddhism illuminated", The Lancet, 11 January 2020

--review of the British Library exhibition, Buddhism