I'm a physicist and author based in Europe. This site (still under construction, as you'll see) offers some links to my books and recent articles, and some information about my current projects. My most recent book Small World (Nexus in the U.S.) explored the new science of networks. Our world is increasingly interconnected and linked together in ways that seem bewilderingly complex. Yet the "wiring patterns" of our human networks, formed through bonds of friendship, business, or technology, as in the Internet, turn out to be remarkably similar to the patterns one finds in natural networks ranging from food webs to the human brain. This book offers a snapshot of how scientists are finding "hidden order" in the world's seemingly disordered networks.

My earlier book Ubiquity explored a related theme, what you might call the "physics of history." Here I looked at the rhythm of human history and its links with the dynamics of biological evolution and patterns known from fundamental physics. People normally think of physics and history as worlds apart, yet physics has learned to identify the basic modes or patterns of change that we should expect to find in our world, whether we're talking about atoms or people. I think that historians and social scientists more generally could greatly improve their repertoire of concepts and the power of their interpretations by bringing these ideas into play. See two historians' reviews here and here, and one from the late physicist Per Bak here.

My next book Simplexity: Our Thinking Instincts and the Hidden Simplicity of Human Affairs (just finished, out early next year, published by Bloomsbury Press) takes this line of thinking quite a bit further. Many philosophers and social scientists have argued that the human world is somehow distinct and separate from the rest of nature, and that our science of it has to be totally different from physical science. I'm arguing (and I think of lot of recent research backs me up) that this idea is dead wrong; good science is good science, and it is possible to create a "social physics" that makes sense of the human world in much the same way as our physics theories explain the physical world. The project won't be finished, or even very well developed for quite some time, but it is beginning to happen. If that sounds implausible or unlikely, you may be greatly surprised.... at least I hope you will be!

For anyone interested, here you can find my CV, some of my recent articles and not so recent articles, as well as some discussion of a number of areas and problems that I find particularly interesting, including links to the key people working on them.