Thank you for visiting The Poetry of Science. My name is Sam Illingworth, and I am an Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University in the UK. My research involves using poetry to develop dialogue between scientists and non-scientists.
Every week I find a new piece of scientific research, read the journal article that describes it and then write a poem that tries to summarise the research in an accessible and entertaining manner. Some of the poems may be faintly melancholic, some of them may raise a smile, and hopefully all of them will make you think.
If you are interested in the relationship between science and poetry, then you might also enjoy my book A sonnet to science, which presents an account of six groundbreaking scientists who also wrote poetry, and the effect that this had on their lives and research. You might also enjoy this study, which proves that poetry can be used to convey important scientific information, even if the aesthetics of the medium aren’t to everyone’s tastes…
28 thoughts on “About”
Great work! The peer reviewed poetry yesterday was brilliant 🙂
Thanks Rachel. Really glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for coming.
A secret nook in a palnseat land,Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;Where arches green, the livelong day,Echo the blackbird’s roundelay,And vulgar feet have never trodA spot that is sacred to thought and God. – Emerson
Thanks for publishing Our Sisters and for bringing creativity and humour to science 🙂
You are more than welcome! Thank you for your kind words and your beautiful poetry. 🙂
Always enjoy your site
Thanks Danny, that is very kind. 🙂
Sam, please send me details of the poetry workshop on the environment forthcoming. I was in the cathedral, but didn’t hear all the details of date and time etc. Thank you
Are you able to send Alison an email to book through the Cathedral? If not let me know and I will email you her details. 🙂
Thank you for your kind comments.
Hello Sam–I’m delighted to find your blog and have been enjoying your poems. I’m a UK expat living in California, a retired professor of Poetics and Humanities, and a fairly widely published poet (three full-length collections published, a fourth coming out this autumn). My work since the 1980s has focused more and more on science and technology. In this I follow a family tradition, as I am one of Charles Darwin’s great-great-grandchildren. As I’m sure you know, Charles’ grandfather Erasmus was a poet as well as a botanist and evolutionist who strongly influenced Shelley; and I descend from the Darwins on my the side of my paternal grandmother, Frances Crofts Cornford, who was a well-known poet. I’d like to talk to you. (This would have been a personal email except that I can’t find an address on your site.)
What a wonderful message. I am following up now with a personal email. 🙂
hi! I just discovered your work, I really like it. It will be a pleasure to receive you newsletter!
Thank you Greta. 😊
This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, Sam. We Sams are good people 🙂 Keep up the excellent work, and I think more scientists should write poetry — for what is the feeling of writing poetry, if not the thrill of serendipitous metaphors. Thanks and have a great year!
Thank you Sam!
And yay – go Sams everywhere! 😀
I always vow to the great souls who have developed verbal and mathematical brain simultaneously to bring science closer to humanities..
You are such a genius human being..
Hope to stay connected.
Stay safe and blessed..
Thank you for such kind words. 😀
Hello, As a person with a foot in both science and the humanities (a writer/poet and researcher in turtle cognition from the behavioral side), I’m most pleased to find your site. Thank you.
Thank you Rosemary! 😀
I’m currently hooked on an Ottoman history podcast, and thought I should find an alternative before I start dreaming ottomans. As a scientist and poet , I believe I’ve hit paydirt here!!
I really liked your poem regarding dirty light.
That is really lovely to hear. 🙂
I guess it all comes down to this
Greeting card slogans, electrified and fried
Dry ink, invisible–in, of a moment’s duration…
Now you see it/Now you don’t
Now it’s gone
Neon words flashing in the night
long past the time there’s anyone to see them..
like a tree falling in the woods
unseen by eyes or heard by ears
I like your poetry. This is copyrighted 11/14/13 and never before shared.
Thank you Kat – for both your kind comments and your lovely words. 😀
Brilliant work. Kudos