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Head and Dean of School of Psychology, University of Dundee

I am Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Dundee, where for many years I was Head of Psychology and then Dean. I am now a full-time writer and science journalist. I have published several books, including an introduction to the psychology of language, which I think must be successful because I am supposed to be writing the fifth edition. First though I must finish my life's great work, a book on the science of consciousness.

I have many interests, all related in some way to my search for meaning and purpose in life. My psychology research included language, the tip-of-the-tongue state, how we can slow down ageing, sleep and dreams, the effects of the weather on people, and the effects of depression, particularly factors that affect suicide risk. Recently I have published widely in the popular media on futurology and the risks posed by artificial intelligence and robotics. I have always been convinced that there must be a better way of teaching than presenting Powerpoint slides covered in words, and have explored several alternative methods, a search that culminated in a spell as a stand-up comic. You can find out more about my research at my website,, and follow the link from there to my regular blog on depression, meaning in life, fighting mental illness, and trying to make myself a better, kinder person.


  • –present
    Head and Dean of School of Psychology, University of Dundee