Tim Maughan

Freelance journalist and author

Author, journalist, and features writer using both fiction and non-fiction to explore issues around cities, class, culture, globalisation, technology, and the future. Bylines for the BBC, New Scientist, Matter, Motherboard, and other places.

Winner of the 2015 Seahorse Club award for Supply Chain Journalist of The Year.

Currently freelance NYC contributing editor for New Scientist's Culture Lab.

Portfolio

Non fiction/Journalism

Meet Zoltan, the presidential candidate who drives a coffin
"I had been working for National Geographic, travelling, doing all these fun things and then all of a sudden, I nearly stood on a land mine in Vietnam," Zoltan Istvan tells me,...
The oil rich city betting on drones
Over the PA system a voice tells us not to be alarmed. What we are about to see is just a demonstration, courtesy of the United Arab Emirate's Ministry of the Interior. Two men...
The invisible network that keeps the world running
It's been just over 45 years since the Apollo Moon landings, and some would have it that we are failing to build big anymore; that we've since become too fascinated with the...
The Changing Face of Shenzhen, the World's Gadget Factory
Mention Shenzhen to most people, and they'll probably think of the vast Foxconn manufacturing plant that churns out high-end phones, tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles for...
Yiwu: The Chinese city where Christmas is made and sold
I'm a few hours away from Shanghai and I've not seen daylight for over three hours. I'm also hopelessly lost. I've been trying to get out of this place for the last 45 minutes,...
The dystopian lake filled by the world's tech lust
From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out...
Six GIFs about things you didn't know about GIFs
Here are six lessons from What We Talk About When We Talk About GIFs, a one-day symposium in New York that attempted to "unpack the history, popular culture, and social impact...
Why even catastrophic events can't change attitudes to climate
"The fundamental problem with environmental justice in the world today is that the people and the places that are most responsible for getting us into this mess seem to be the...
The Future Is ​Genetically Modified Facebook Profiles
"I wanted to tell a story that bridged two worlds of social media culture," says filmmaker Alexey Marfin. "On one hand, there's this world of the perfect profile: a world of...
Letting environmental art speak for itself is no longer enough
Cynthia Hooper is constantly dancing. At least, this is how the Californian film-maker describes balancing the two halves of her practice. Yes, she makes works of art; but she...
Is farming the future of cities?
As more and more people leave their rural homes for high-rise buildings, 'vertical farming' may offer a way to feed the populations of future mega-cities. Perhaps...
The Inevitable Rise of the Internet of Shipping Containers
The shipping container has become the ubiquitous mechanism of logistics, its generic shape and size an iconic symbol of globalization itself. By standardizing how cargo is...
China's Drone Army Is Beginning to Look a Lot Like the US's
The downed CH-3. Image: Screenshot, Twitter Back in January of this year, photos emerged on Twitter of what appeared to be a crashed military drone in Nigeria's war-torn Borno...
Is China's hydroelectric revolution as green as it sounds?
China is pursuing an ambitious programme of hydroelectric expansion, with a series of 'mega-dams' on the way even bigger than the controversial Three Gorges project. But are...
Could psychedelic drugs make smokers quit?
Nicotine patches, chewing gum, cold turkey. Giving up cigarettes can be tough, but there are many strategies smokers can try. Matthew Johnson wants to add another: he says he...
Making Patterns: getting intimate with technology
Making Patterns, 117 Beekman Street, Manhattan, New York, 24 July to 17 September While high profile, the Apple Watch is hardly a new concept. Activity-tracking devices such as...
Biocode mixes art and academia to explore pigeonholing
From 2008 to 2010, the Moorea Biocode project set out to create a comprehensive database of all non-microbial life on a single Polynesian island. Five years on, a team of...
Should we engineer animals to be smart like humans?
What if it were possible to engineer animals to be as intelligent as us? As Tim Maughan discovers, we may have already started.
Putting animals online: Does it protect or destroy?
A shark has been killed because tagging data revealed it was regularly near a popular swimming area (Image: Stuart Westmorland/Getty) Even in the digital realm,...
Tim Maughan interviews Liam Young
SONIC ACTS RESEARCH SERIES #7 'The Shadow Cast by the Luminous Screen...' One of the speakers at the next Sonic Acts Festival is speculative architect Liam Young. Together with...
We're listening to Adam Greenfield speak AGAINST THE SMART CITY
Tim Maughan reports from New York. Against the Smart City (The City is Here for You to Use)Adam GreenfieldKindle, £5.16 New York, like any major city on any continent, is...
Graffiti: 40 Years of Hacking New York City
"'City as Canvas' is a reminder that this is, in a very literal sense, criminal artwork" The title of The Museum of New York City's latest street art retrospective -  City as...
Neurons light up Times Square for Midnight Moment
Brain City is playing at Times Square at 11.57 every night until the end of November. Along with its street performers and endless crowds of tourists, New York's Times Square is...
Manufacturing Outrage For Profit in 10 Easy Steps
Miley Cyrus is a 20 year old American female actress and popstar. She rose to prominence by appearing in the children's TV show Hannah Montana on The Disney Channel, and by...

Fiction

Elevated
We asked academics to collaborate with science fiction writers to develop short stories that explored these ideas and the real impact of collective intelligence, of human lives...
Dialed Up
This week, Motherboard is exploring the world of drugs and altered states with Lit Up. So, for today's Terraform entry, here's Tim Maughan with a warped dystopia about the...
The Water Line
That's what she told me. For real. That's what she said. Detroit. Moving the whole family up there. I said she must be crazy but... Hey! Look at this klutz man. Hey! HEY! Watch...
Transmission
Six stories of a post-antibiotic future bringing the scale and urgency of the challenge of antimicrobial resistance vividly to life. Infectious Futures features six stories set...

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