ORDER OUT OF CHAOS AND CRUELTY

It’s 15o years since the development of the periodic table – the inspiration for chemist and concentration camp survivor to write one of his greatest books.     Long before Stephen Jay Gould or Stephen Hawking, the Italian writer Primo Levi sought to make science accessible to the layperson. His literary-scientific memoir The Periodic Table, first published in Italy in …

Mary Queen of Scots… Robert Southwell

    Tudor England in the late 1580s was jittery with fears of a Catholic revival. Sir Francis Walsingham, the spymaster extraordinaire at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, presided over a  le Carré-like world of political double-dealing and “spiery” (as the Elizabethans called it). Moles were planted in Catholic seminaries abroad while England’s island diplomacy created a looking-glass war …