writing

The shortlist for the 2015 Wellcome Book Prize has been announced. Including two novels and four non-fiction books, the shortlist 'captures a diverse range of subjects and perspectives, from brain surgeons to...

Back in 1971 Stanislav Andreski’s Social Sciences as Sorcery slammed academics for their inability to write clearly. There was, he argued, an ‘abundance of pompous bluff and paucity of new ideas’, a use of ‘obfuscating jargon’ to conceal a lack of anything to say. This was,...

Cursed by knowledge

Style guides aren’t known for being riveting reads, but Pinker’s The Sense of Style isn’t just a style guide but a long hard look at the problems that come with academic writing through the lens of cognitive psychology.

I was...

If I’d had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

This well-known witticism, apparently uttered by Blaise Pascal, Mark Twain, Victor Meldrew and many others, reflects a counterintuitive thought – writing in a clear and concise fashion can be surprisingly...

Psychotherapy and other stories

Frank Tallis on life as a clinical psychologist and novelist

It is still considered somewhat unusual for an individual to straddle C.P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’ divide. We live in a society in which...