What I do
My training is in physics and I now make my living as an author, writing mostly about science -- not only physics, but mathematics, social science and biology. After finishing my PhD in 1993, and did research for several years in the areas of nonlinear dynamics ("chaos theory" in the popular lingo), Hamiltonian systems theory and plasma physics. I then took a job as an editor with the international science journal Nature, and worked later for the British (but increasingly international) popular science magazine New Scientist. After that experience, I decided to go freelance and now, after three books and about 100 odd articles in publications ranging from Nature and Science to the Harvard Business Review, here I am! For the last two years I have also had great fun contributing a monthly column to Nature Physics. You'll find links to my books and articles elsewhere in this site.

In one way or another, almost all of my writing touches on the idea that concepts from physics can help us understand our world better, and that includes understanding everything from bacterial colonies to ecosystems to human communities or business organizations. The key issue in all these cases is learning to see and understand the kinds of collective organization and dynamics that "well up" naturally in systems made of many interacting parts, whether those parts are atoms, bacteria or people. Research in this area generally goes under the name of "complexity science," which may not be good because people seem to use the word "complexity" in many different ways.

New projects?
Although I generally propose articles and books to magazines and publishers, I am also open to taking on projects suggested by others if they interest me. So please get in touch. I've had considerable experience acting as a "rapporteur" for various scientific workshops, and I usually find this rewarding as it keeps me in contact with emerging ideas. In connection with my books, I've also given many public lectures at the general level on the ideas of complexity science, network theory, modern physics and so on. I will consider all invitations!




Mark Buchanan