Simon Parkin

14 Stories by Simon Parkin


If an enterprising bookmaker decided to offer odds on which apocalyptic event is most likely to wipe out the human race, a pandemic would...
10 min read


Anyone entering the virological laboratory, one of the most highly regarded in Europe, was subject to a security check. Workers were required to wear...
8 min read

Birds on the March

The cull had squashed H5N1's short-term chances. But the government's throttling of information ensured that the disease had long-term prospects. In the rush to...
8 min read


Almost a century later, three things are certain: that the first confirmed case of Spanish flu occurred, that it originated not in Spain but...
7 min read


Humanity and the world we inhabit may be facing a bevy of looming disasters, but for Fukuda the question of whether bird flu ranks...
6 min read

The Ideal Workweek, According to Science

Not so, according to a towering body of evidence in support of workdays that are shorter and more thoughtfully designed in accordance with what...
7 min read

A Pilgrim’s Progress Bar

For Muslims currently living in the U.S., the idea of undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca has become a freshly perilous one. In recent years,...
8 min read

Your Classroom Is Making You Fail

Almost everyt traditional classroom design makes it harder to learn–yet the fixes are often simple.
0 7 min read

Was Gamification a Terrible Lie?

Turning work into play was sold as a miracle for increasing productivity–but was that ever really plausible?
0 9 min read

The Gut and the Spreadsheet: How Fashion Forecasting Really Works

The science of fashion has become big business.
0 8 min read