Liam Shaw

Liam Shaw is a postdoctoral fellow at the MacLean Lab in Oxford, researching bacterial genetics.

Life Soup: Slime!

Liam Shaw, 21 April 2022

Afew hours​ after Jean-Paul Sartre was injected with mescaline by his friend Daniel Lagache, a psychiatrist at the Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris, Simone de Beauvoir phoned to check in on the first-time tripper. Her call came as a reprieve. As Sartre told her in a scrambled voice, she had interrupted a losing battle against a mass of octopuses. He had been promised a safe experience. An...

From The Blog
8 December 2021

We have an eyewitness account of the 1646 eruption in the form of a letter from the governor of Tenerife, Alonso de Yclan y Valdès, to the king of Spain. I consulted the copy in the British Library; it was almost like reading the news.

From The Blog
16 September 2021

What little we know about individual mammoths is often constrained to their last moments, based on where their skeletons were found – a struggle in the sticky tar – or the record of violent trauma inflicted by human weapons. But recent developments in isotope dating allow for longer narratives.  

From The Blog
30 March 2021

Researchers at UCL have published a complete model for the inner workings and front display of the Antikythera mechanism. The ancient device, recovered from a shipwreck in 1901, has long been thought to have shown a model of the Greek cosmos, with the Sun, Moon and five classical planets rotating around the Earth, controlled by a fiendish set of gears. The UCL team argue that theirs is the first model to match all the existing evidence.

From The Blog
26 February 2021

According to a study published in Nature last month, oceanic shark numbers have declined by 70 per cent since 1970. Three-quarters of ocean-going shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction. Yet we are still more likely to feel that sharks are a threat to us than the other way round. Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws – both symptom and cause of that feeling – was published 46 years ago, in February 1974. Production of the movie version began that summer, filmed in the village of Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard. A few years ago I went for a swim at the beach there. I had never considered myself afraid of sharks. But with every stroke I glanced backwards over my shoulder towards the open water.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences