Monocle Magazine interviewed me for the Sunday radio show about my new book, Sex Drugs and Rock n’ Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science. You can check out (and download) the show here.

I’m on air about 20 minutes in, yapping about live sex acts in labs, LSD as a treatment for alcoholism, a man who wears a birdcage on his head, how Timothy Leary was a twat, where the clitoris is located according to Vesalius, how music is our species’ greatest achievement, and why goats have oral sex. (My answer: “Why not?”)

I would like the record to show that I got to sneak in a quote from the unparalleled Peter Farrell about the influence of drugs on music (drum & bass + ketamine = dub step).



Every day I wake up thinking “I hope my conjunctivitis has receded enough for me to be able to read.” And every morning… nope. Another day, another newspaper added to the stack I’m saving for when I can discern anything larger than font size 16. Sigh. I knew I liked words, but I never realised that I cant live without them until now. As soon as my sight returns, I’m going to volunteer to read to sightless patients in nursing homes. There’s a reason the earliest biologists considered the eye an irreducibly complex work of art.

I voted. But only because I was on my way home from an errand at the post office, and I happened to have my passport and mail in my bag. The first, last and only time I voted in this country I voted Lib Dem – and it’s left a bitter, foul taste in my mouth ever since. I voted Green. All I could do. If they don’t get in, next time I’m voting Monster Raving Loony Party.


Why, hello Yorkshire. Ain’t you perty. I’m here to give a lecture about hedonism at Salon North, but it feels somehow out of place. You look so darned wholesome.


I will be in Yorkshire tomorrow to talk about the science of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. After researching these three things solidly for two years, a friend asked: what’s your favourite subject? Music. Without a moment’s hesitation. A violin has never split up my home, broken my heart, or killed any of my friends. Forever and always: music.


I appear today in the Sun in Scotland, who I have a new respect for (or this writer anyways). The woman drove all the way from Glasgow, and unlike the Daily Mail, actually spelled my name right.

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I will be in Edinburgh at the International Science Festival tonight talking about the science of hedonism in the Sin Academy! Stoked to go back to Scotland. Seems appropriate, as Guerilla Science’s biggest installation last year was a giant maze behind a massive sign declaring SIN.

Shangri La: Glastonbury Festival 2013.

Shangri La at Glastonbury 2013. Photo Credit: James McCauley

Also, turns out all I had to do to get a PhD was appear in the Daily Mail with my name spelled wrong.

Addendum: Best bit of feedback after my lecture. Angry bald Scottish man: “YOU SHOULD HAVE TALKED MORE ABOUT AMPHETAMINES.”

In Scotland there is an incredible place called the Bass Rock. It is known as the Alcatraz of the north. 

Who’s up for applying for funding to cover it in sub woofers? C’mon. It would fucking rock.


I have been mentioned on Twitter by The Gherkin, as I wrote about skyscrapers and physics recently for The Guardian. Should I be pleased that I have been mentioned on social media by a gigantic weird dildo?

For three nights, Guerilla Science converted a derelict WW2 bunker in East London into an incarnation of the brain, culminating in a five course dining experience featuring real calf brains. Check out all the pics of the Brain Banquet here, more about the event in Jen Wong’s wonderful post in The Guardian here, and coverage in Wired and Time Out!


The External Brain, by artist Agatha Haines. Image Credit: Rita Platts.



The third of a five course dining experience, crafted by chefs Blanch & Shock. Photo Credit: Rita Platts.



The Final Course: Calf Brains, by chefs Blanch & Shock. Photo Credit: Rita Platts.



The Neuronal Forest, crafted by artist Evy Jokhova. Photo Credit: Rita Platts.


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