David Robson

Science writer and editor

I am an award-winning writer and editor, who specialises in writing in-depth articles probing the extremes of the human mind, body and behaviour. My subjects have included the limits of intelligence, the true stories of 'real-life' vampires, and our burgeoning understanding of the ways that culture shapes your psychology. I am currently writing The Intelligence Trap for Hodder and Stoughton (UK)/WW Norton (USA).

I hope you enjoy my clippings. If you would like to get in touch, please email d_a_robson "at" hotmail.com.

UK

Portfolio

Bbc

The countries that don't exist

When I first see Nick Middleton, he is surrounded by globes and atlases showing the most exotic places on the planet. We are in the basement of Stanfords, London's largest...

Bbc

Quiz: Find out what kind of drunk you are

It was Rachel Winograd, at the University of Missouri, who first came up with these four distinct types of drunk, as she started exploring the way that alcohol can alter our...

Bbc

Is another human living inside you?

Once upon a time, your origins were easy to understand. Your dad met your mum, they had some fun, and from a tiny fertilised egg you emerged kicking and screaming into the...

Bbc

The real reason germs spread in the winter

It begins as surely as the leaves dropping off the trees. As the mercury drops and the sunlight fades, the sniffles set in. At best, it's just a cold that leaves us with the...

Bbc

The strangest form of consciousness

When Daniel first walked into London's National Hospital, ophthalmologist Michael Sanders could have had little idea that he would permanently alter our view of human...

Bbc

Are any foods safe to eat anymore? Here's the truth

Food was once seen as a source of sustenance and pleasure. Today, the dinner table can instead begin to feel like a minefield. Is the bacon on your plate culinary asbestos, and...

Bbc

Does it pay to be kind to strangers?

You'd have thought Sandi Mann was offering people a slap in the face - not a steaming cup of coffee. She'd been visiting her local cafe with her children, where they often...

Bbc

Why do women live longer than men?

As soon as I was born, I was already destined to die earlier than half the babies in my maternity ward - a curse that I can do little to avoid. The reason? My sex. Simply due to...

Bbc

Coffee in crisis: The bitter end of our favourite drink?

As we sip our lattes and espressos and read the daily headlines, climate change can seem like a distant threat. But travel a few thousand miles to the source of your caffeine...

Bbc

The best (and worst) ways to spot a liar

Thomas Ormerod's team of security officers faced a seemingly impossible task. At airports across Europe, they were asked to interview passengers on their history and travel...

Bbc

How far do you have to run to burn off a burger?

How much sex is equivalent to a slice of cheese? And how hard is it to make up for a donut? BBC Future examines just how much exercise is needed to offset your favourite snacks.

BBC Future

The surprising downsides of being drop dead gorgeous

Can you be too beautiful? It is hardly a problem that most of us have to contemplate - as much as we might like to dream that it were the case. Yet the blessings and curses of...

BBC Future

Bbc

Do you have 'maths anxiety'?

Mental arithmetic can be stressful for many people, causing a lifelong fear of numbers. What makes the brain freeze up when calculating hard sums? David Robson reports.

Bbc

The disgusting secrets of smelly feet

Renate Smallegange is something of a connoisseur of smelly feet - and she goes to surprising lengths to study their odours. Sometimes she'll collect worn nylon socks that have...

New Scientist

Björk: I was always a bit of a nerd

Björk is at it again with a science-themed album and a suite of apps. David Robson met the Icelandic singer to find out more, and enjoyed a sweet music lesson to boot

BBC Future

Time lords: The clocks that rule our world

Time is money - and never was this clearer than at 09:59:59.985 Eastern Time, on 3 June 2013. Due to a glitch in its time-keeping, the news agency Reuters accidentally released...

Bbc

The myth of universal beauty

The plus-sized comedian Dawn French would be unlikely to describe herself as a sex symbol, but was she simply born at the wrong time? "If I had been around when Rubens was...

Bbc

How your face betrays your personality and health

You might expect a great philosopher to look past our surface into the depths of the soul - but Ancient Greek thinkers were surprisingly concerned with appearance. Aristotle and...

Bbc

The mind-bending effects of foreign accent syndrome

Julie Matthias's family have a game they sometimes like to play after she comes home, disappointed, from another doctor's appointment. During dinner, they pick a foreign accent,...