'Sideways Look' Blog

All In

December 30, 2012

I was sworn-in as a US citizen today in Portland, Oregon.

Percy Butler


November 26, 2012

The composer Elliot Carter died on November 6th. It would be dishonest to pretend that I listened much to his music, but I know musicians consider him an important composer.

Remembering a Different Kind of Consistency

November 12, 2012

The armistice at the end of the First World War (also called the Great War) was signed at 11am on November 11th in 1918.

Reprint request form

The Good Old Days

October 08, 2012

I spent most of the day yesterday ‘fall cleaning’ my office, and in doing so I recovered/uncovered some old ‘reprints’ of papers of mine, a copy of Current Contents, sheets of Letraset, a

All for Naught

September 04, 2012

If you Google “phases of the research process”, the first item is

It Takes All Sorts

August 25, 2012

Just what sort of work habits, intellect and personality do you need to be a successful researcher? And in particular, is there anything special about the work habits, etc.

Sine Pari

June 20, 2012

Phillip Vallentine Tobias (known by all as “PVT”) was the undisputed doyen of the palaeoanthropological community for the whole of my professional life.

The Lancet

A Humble Pioneer

April 10, 2012

Morris Goodman’s 1963 review entitled Man’s place in the phylogeny of primates as reflected in serum proteins is a well-deserved classic.

What I did Over my Spring Break

March 15, 2012

Let me begin with a confession.

Back to Basics

March 14, 2012

Some background. For a long time the main political parties in the United Kingdom were called the Tories and the Whigs.

Fruits of Browsing: No. 3 'Small, But Perfectly Formed'

March 02, 2012

A relatively painless way to learn about science is to read biographies of scientists.

Arboreal Man

Fruits of Browsing: No. 2 'Up Close and Personal'

February 22, 2012

If you want to capture the essence of the English countryside, my recommendation would be to spend time in the county of Shropshire.

Fruits of Browsing: No. 1 'Sometimes You Get Lucky'

February 07, 2012

The older I get the more I appreciate those who explore and document the history of science, and especially the history of paleoanthropology.

Unreasonable Expectations

January 25, 2012

“For every complex problem, there is a simple, easy to understand, incorrect answer” -Albert von Szent-Györgyi

Publications that made a Difference. No. 2: 'Looking Beyond Modern Human-Type Bipedalism'

January 01, 2012

Among the fossils recovered from Swartkrans in 1949 were two fragments that preserve the proximal end of the right femur.