My publications

  • Books
  • Popular articles
  • Review articles
  • Primary research articles
  • My books

    No scientist is without books to read and books to write. Here are a few on my shelf.

    Photo by Scott Turner


    I am a scientist and therefore I write. Writing is important because writing is thinking: getting it down on the page is the best way of getting it all to make sense. Getting it down on the page so that it makes sense to someone else is the essential icing on the cake.

    I am also a better writer than a speaker.

    This is the entry point to my various publications, which range from popular commentary to book reviews, to books, and to that mainstay of the modern science, journal publications. Media productions are available through a separate page.

    I strive, wherever it is possible, to make my publications available as easily accessible pdf documents. If a publication cannot be shared on my web site, please write to me: I can sometimes provide individual copies if I'm allowed.

    My publications are organized into four broad categories:



    I've written two, both published by Harvard University Press. They are The Extended Organism. The Physiology of Animal-Built Structures (2000), and The Tinkerer's Accomplice. How Design Emerges from Life Itself (2007). With the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, I am currently working on a third, with the working title Biology's Second Law. Evolution, Purpose and Desire.

    Popular articles

    Popular articles and book reviews

    Scientists usually are dependent upon the public for their existence, both as a source of funds for our work, and for the moral support they give. Sometimes we are asked to share our thoughts with our patrons, which I've been asked to do a few times. Here are some of those contributions.


    Review articles

    Sometimes we get to expand our thoughts to summarize a larger body of work. These are fun because they're synthetic and there's a bit more freedom to speculate than is common on journal publications. Here are a few of mine.

    journal articles

    Primary research articles

    Journal articles are the mainstay of the working scientist, and we produce lots of them. They're how we share our thoughts with our peers, and are the foundation stones for some of our scientific flights of fancy in review articles and books. Here are mine.