Steve Jones is Professor of Genetics at University College London and the author of In the Blood. (April 1998)

In the Genetic Toyshop

I write as a clone, the son of a clone, and one of the few British citizens legally entitled to commit incest. A clone, of course: we are all one of those, for the billions of cells that we contain are—each one of them—copies of the fertilized egg that made …

The Set Within the Skull

If you want to find schizophrenia, go to a psychology department. Not among the staff (although some do seem to hear voices inaudible to the rest of us) but within the subject. It has gone from describing varieties of religious experience to censusing them, from phrenology to scanning brains and …

Go Milk a Fruit Bat!

Two of the memorably worst lines of English poetry, composed in 1799 by one John Hookham Frere: The feather’d race with pinions skim the air— Not so the mackerel, and still less the bear. Hookham Frere’s insensitivity to bathos is impressive; but however inferior his verse it has …

Crooked Bones

“You interest me very much, Mr. Holmes. I had hardly expected so dolichocephalic a skull or such well-marked supra-orbital development. Would you have any objection to my running my finger along your parietal fissure? It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.” …

Up Against the Wall

Stephen Jay Gould on a bad day can be the Lincoln Continental of science writing—ponderous, well upholstered, and designed to travel in a straight line. Comfortable, certainly; assured—no one can doubt that—and if you turn on the radio you are certain to get grand opera; but, somehow, well, just too …