Bio

DSC_9107I have been a science writer, editor and reviewer since the early 1980s, with spells as a journalist (Times Higher Education Supplement), academic (UCL) and publisher (Allen Lane).

I now mainly write books – past writing or editing efforts are arrayed on the left here -and take on other freelance commissions which are interesting or serve causes I support, or even both.

My most recent was a look at fifty years of heart disease research and therapy, written with Julie Clayton for the British Heart Foundation’s anniversary in 2012.

The next one will be a popular science treatment of the human microbiome – now the focus of much intriguing research. It is under contract from Icon Books and should appear in early 2015, partly to catch research results between now and then.

Other recent (March 2013) work includes a long essay Imagining Technology on science fiction and technological development for NESTA. This pulls together quite a lot of stuff about SF, tech, and design fiction. You can download it from here, and read some bits and pieces on the futures blog.


In the past I have also lectured widely and created and taught science communication courses in several universities. And I have always enjoyed helping other people get their ideas into shape – whether through book editing, report writing, conference summaries, or consultancy.

I have an enduring fascination with social research related to science and technology (my own main academic study once upon a time) and in the way it informs the wider social conversation about science.

I  enjoy writing and editing on assignment, especially around life sciences, futures, science and society and policy issues. I have written for a wide range of audiences, producing everything from books to museum exhibition guides to school resources.

I have also edited a range of books, including Icon Books Revolutions in Science Series. And while at Penguin, and since then as a consulting editor, I have had a hand in editing books by (in no particular order) Brian Greene, Jared Diamond, Michio Kaku, John Gribbin, Jim Baggott, Peter Smith, and David Rothenberg. I also edit academic papers on occasion (though I cannot improve your data, I may be able to help with the presentation).

I live in Bristol, where my partner’s academic career brought us a few years ago. I blog about Jazz in Bristol and roundabout, as well as about Futures, and there’s yet another blog which archives a big backlog of writing, mainly book reviews. There are buttons for all three on this site.

The other pages here detail past work and writing for those who are interested.

You can contact me using the click-up form on the left, or by emailing direct (jonturney – AT – gmail.com). I have a good old-fashioned landline phone on 0117 924 0877, but email is preferred. DM on twitter (@jonWturney) works, too.

PS. In case you are looking for the excellent Chris Turney (no relation), the professor who writes about climate change, history and Antarctica, he’s over here.

John Tierney, veteran science writer of the New York Times, is not a mis-spelling of me (or vice versa) – he’s his own man.

Other Turneys who write things, to whom I am somewhat closer, can be found here, here and here!