Essays & summaries

Below are links to some essays and other pieces I have written for non-specialist audiences. I also enjoy talking with non-specialist audiences; please do enquire if that is of interest.

More than words (2016).
Longform essay for Aeon, about the diversity of human communication, and in particular on how art can do some things that languages can’t.

Infections of the mind: Why anti-vaxxers just ‘know’ they’re right (2015).
A short essay for The Conversation about why anti-vaccination arguments are so intuitively appealing.
(Republished: IFL Science, New Zealand Herald, many others.)
(Media coverage: The Agenda with Steve Paikin.)

What is art? A pragmatic perspective (2015).
A short essay for the journal Think, which uses pragmatics (the study of human communication) to argue that art is whatever the artist declares it to be.

Unique: Humans and language (2014).
A short, accessible summary some of my research on language origins, for the Durham University alumni magazine, Durham First.

On communication and culture (2013).
A short interview about the evolutionary origins of communication and culture, for The New Evolutionary Enlightenment.

The origins of human communication (2012).
A brief, accessible summary for The Psychologist, of some of the research that won me the BPS Outstanding Doctoral Research Prize.

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