Essays & summaries

I am keen to write more longform pieces for a general audience, such as those below.

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.)
(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.

Book preview: Speaking Our Minds (2014).
Replicated Typo is the world’s most read blog about language evolution. This guest post previews what Speaking Our Minds has to say about the cultural evolution of languages.

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

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.