Joseph Phelan

Journalist and writer.

United Kingdom

I'm an experienced writer, journalist and editor. I've written for the BBC, National Geographic, The Observer, The i, Scientific American, VICE, British Airways High Life, and various other publications.

I've worked across numerous sectors, from finance to sport, infrastructure to the green economy, and produced copy for organisations including RBS, BP, Shell, NatWest, Waitrose, Philips, Lloyd's Register and Oracle. I also wrote the CPNI’s official guidance around phishing.

[email protected]

Italy's plan to save Venice from sinking

Venice is a stunning oddity. It is a city built atop around 120 islands, crisscrossed by 177 canals, and is best explored - when on foot at least - via the use of its 391 bridges. It is a watery maze of a city, full of tiny footpaths and tucked away squares, hidden museums and secluded, centuries-old churches.

The push for peat sustainability

In the whisky sector, sustainability has cemented itself as an agenda staple. The industry is, in many ways, a perfect example of what can be achieved through joined-up thinking, and a dogged determination to do better.

Do bee bricks work in the fight to save the bees?

Bee bricks are the new solution for dwindling pollinators being touted by Brighton and Hove. But do bee bricks work? Bee conservation experts weigh in In recent decades the UK's bee population has been under significant strain. Pollinators-including bees-have been in a state of decline since the 1970s, with some species suffering more than others.

How Dubai is pushing back its encroaching deserts

The desert has never been far from Dubai's doorstep. Now a modern financial hub of some three million people, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) most populous city remains surrounded on one side by sea, on the other by a seemingly endless carpet of sand.

Discover Magazine
Almost 4,000 Snakes Rule This Brazilian Island

An old Brazilian story suggests Ilha da Queimada Grande's snake population is the direct consequence of some inventive pirates' and their ploy to discourage people from finding their buried loot. However, the real reason for the island's unique population is somewhat less fantastical.

Why British wine could be your next favourite wine region

British wine might not be the first thing you think of when trying fine vinos, but this young industry is rapidly racking up plaudits. We take a closer look According to a recent OECD report, the average Briton drinks the equivalent of 120 bottles of wine every year.

Scientific American
How Many Nuclear Weapons Exist, and Who Has Them?

Since Russia first invaded Ukraine nearly three weeks ago, the threat of nuclear weapon use has risen. This was made clear on Feb. 27, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country's nuclear forces had been placed on "high alert," the Associated Press reported.

Why are human lips red?

We use them every day, but have you ever stopped to consider that your lips do not look, feel or act like other parts of your body? Why are they so red, so sensitive and so prone to dryness? And why have humans evolved to have lips, when other creatures — birds and turtles, for example — get on just fine without them?

The Bookseller
What happened to Sad Puppies?

In this week's issue: Lead Story: Bookshop Heroes 2022 Trade Spotlight: The Booksellers Association Author Profile: Freya Marske New Titles Non-Fiction: December 2022 Category Spotlight: Humour
Could Earth ever leave our solar system?

(Image credit: Guillaume Preat/EyeEm via Getty Images) In Liu Cixin's short story "The Wandering Earth (opens in new tab)" (first published in Chinese magazine Science Fiction World in July 2000), Cixin portrays a scenario in which the planet's leaders agree to propel out of the solar system to escape an imminent solar flare that is expected to decimate all of the terrestrial planets.
Russia's Ukraine invasion could imperil international science

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has forced at least 1 million people to flee their homes, and has already seen thousands of Ukrainian civilians killed , could also have wide-reaching and prolonged ramifications for scores of industries and organizations, including many designed to be apolitical.
Why do we still measure things in horsepower?

(Image credit: anouchka via Getty Images) If you're buying a car and have no experience with power measurements or vehicle stats, you may be baffled by one of the vehicle's key capabilities: its horsepower. Based on that term, you may assume that a horse can produce around 1 horsepower.

Making Molehills of Mountains - In Conversation with Anna Taylor

From The Field One of climbing's greatest talents, Anna Taylor is not like most people. It becomes clear, almost immediately after we begin talking, that she is driven by levels of determination and ambition that are as admirable as they are rare. 'It sounds sadistic, but I enjoy pushing my mind and body to breaking point.
Is Mount Everest really the tallest mountain on Earth?

(Image credit: Didier Marti via Getty Images) It's no secret that Mount Everest, the jewel in Nepal's Himalayan crown, is the world's premier mountain. It's one of those facts embedded in childhood, like knowing that Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the or that blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived.
What is the 'call of the void'?

(Image credit: Ali Arapoğlu/Pexels) Have you ever stood on a balcony, leaned over the edge and unexpectedly thought, "If I wanted to, I could just jump?" Or perhaps you've been at a cliff's edge, with the intention of doing nothing more than enjoying the view and fleetingly considered how easy it would be to simply step over the edge.

Barista Magazine Online
London's Quirkiest Cafés - Barista Magazine Online

BY JOSEPH PHELANSPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE Photo courtesy of Amar Café The United Kingdom's capital city is home to some rather eclectic destinations. Examples of non-coffee madness include Holy Trinity, a church with a clown museum in its basement, and Crossness, arguably the world's most elegant sewage pumping station.

Barista Magazine
Coffee in Confinement

An feature on Redemption Roasters, an innovative coffee company that goes into prisons to teach inmates everything they need to know about roasting, preparing and serving coffee.

Cumbria Magazine
Pushing the Boundaries

An in-depth conversation with outdoor chef Harrison Ward, known locally as the Fell Foodie, about his love of cooking and how it helped him overcome addiction.

Cumbria Magazine
To Hill and Back

James Forrest, adventurer, writer and Lake District enthusiast, has broken another longstanding record.

Cumbria Magazine
The lady of the lakes

A discussion with Gilly McArthur, renowned wild swimmer, illustrator, climber, activist and documentary star.