Stephen Pincock

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Full name: Stephen Pincock

Area of interest: Science, health, medicine

Journals/Organisation: Australian Doctor | The Australian | Financial Times


Personal website:

Website: FT.Com / Stephen Pincock



Networks: | Facebook



Education: University of New South Wales: Microbiology and Immunology, BSc

Career: Thomson Business Publishing: Editor, 1993/1995; Reuters Health: UK Bureau Chief (responsible for managing staff, running budgets and commissioning and editing daily medical news for consumers and health professionals) 1997/2004; Financial Times: Columnist ‘Science Matters’ column (popular first-person column bringing science into everyday life) 2003/2007; The Scientist: Correspondent (assigned and edited a daily internet-based news service on science politics, policy and misconduct, as international correspondent, reported from Europe, Africa, and Australia) 2003/2007; Financial Times: Contributor and feature writer 2003-

(wrote the FT ‘Science Matters’ column September 2003 / April 2007)

Current position/role: Australian Doctor: Features Editor; The Australian: Contributor

  • also writes/has written for: The British Medical Journal, The Lancet, and The Scientist

Other roles/Main role: Author

Other activities: European Society for Medical Oncology: Media Consultant, 2004-


Viewpoints/Insight: Profile of a Science Journo (Australian Science Media Centre)

Broadcast media:






Books & Debate:

Stephen Pincock The Origins of the Universe for Dummies.jpg
  • Codebreaker: the history of codes and ciphers OCLC 72056763, 2006

(see Powell's books synopses and review)

Latest work: The origins of the universe for dummies OCLC 166625993, 2007 (with Mark Frary)


Current debate:

Financial Times: 'Science Matters'

Column name:

Remit/Info: Science and health - (column ended April 2007)

Section: FT Weekend / Magazine

Role: Columnist



Website: FT.Com / Stephen Pincock

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length: 900 words

Articles: 2007

column ended

  • Swan song of my own - I’m quite bad with anniversaries, but during spring I work particularly hard to remember them. Not only is my wedding anniversary this month, but so is my wife’s birthday and my daughter’s. In fact, I’m running out of fingers to tie pieces of string on (about bird flu virus) - 21st April 2007
  • Force of nature - In the summer of 2004, my family and I went on a holiday to Sweden, spending most of our time in Stockholm, taking the occasional boat trip out into the archipelago of beautiful, wooded islands that fan out around the city into the Baltic Sea (about Carl Linnaeus and origins of modern biology) - 13th April 2007
  • Older and wiser - Whenever my wife catches me behaving like a grumpy old man - shaking my fist at bad drivers or extolling the comforts of a pair of slippers - she reminds me of something I told her soon after we began dating (Alzheimer’s and age-relatd diseases) - 6th April 2007
  • The grape escape - The natural world is full of chance events and surprising coincidences, some of which are truly wonderful (about the evolution of the white wine grape) - 30th March 2007
  • Shed some light please - I’ve been keeping a close eye on the clouds outside my office window today. There’s a squally wind blowing from the south that is whipping the trees around and threatening to deliver a thunderstorm to my back garden before the washing’s dry (understanding dark energy) - 22nd March 2007
  • Distress management - One of the most unpleasant conversations I remember took place about five years ago on a warm evening in Copenhagen (about treating the victims of torture) - 16th March 2007
  • Let’s pretend - A physiotherapist friend of mine has just returned from California, where she was presenting some of her research at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (treatment of osteoarthritis) - 9th March 2007
  • It pays to sleep on the job - Every afternoon, just after lunch, my almost two-year-old daughter takes a nap. Sometimes the task of settling her falls to me, and often as I put her down amid the teddies, snuggled in a pink gingham sleep suit, I feel a sharp twinge of envy (taking a siesta at work) - 24th February 2007
  • A bug’s life - How many bacteria, roughly speaking, would you guess are living in your body at this moment? Millions, perhaps? Billions? Try again. Regardless of whether you’ve already showered this morning, the answer is somewhere in the region of 100 trillion (bacterial hitchhikers and human pre-history) - 16th February 2007
  • A big, bad idea? - As the father of two young children, I’ve been immersing myself recently in the literature of the Big Bad Wolf (adding wolves back into the ecological equation) - 9th February 2007
  • Bad odds - On a hot day, there is nothing I like better than going for swim at the beach, out beyond the breakers where the deep water swells. There is only one thing that spoils it for me: sharks (humans capacity to assess risk) - 26th January 2007
  • Those dark materials - Tiresome as long-haul flying has become these days, I find there’s usually one consolation: the view. At an altitude of 30,000ft, and with the sun in the right place, a string of ponds can glitter like Tiffany’s best (about dark matter) - 19th January 2007
  • Man to man - Early one morning recently, my mate George and I spent a few hours beach fishing. As we were driving back home in his grand old Mercedes, I wondered for a moment whether I should adopt him as my new mentor - ("young researchers stand or fall according to the quality of mentoring they receive") - 12th January 2007
  • Tanks for the memories - When I was 10 years old or thereabouts, I had a black goldfish that I kept in a small tank beside my bed. I was fond of it in my own way, at least as fond as you can be of a fish - (how animals respond in unpredictable environments) - 5th January 2008

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