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”

  1. 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

  2. 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

    • Thanks Patrick,

      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. 🙂

  3. 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.)

  4. 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!

  5. 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..

  6. 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.

  7. 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


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