Category Archives: People

Adventurer in time

IN JULY 1962, Michel Siffre took off his watch and descended into the abyss of Scarasson in the French Alps. There, in a cave 130 metres below the surface, he set up camp next to a glacier. With a torch as his only light source, and deprived of all reminders of the passage of time, he lived underground, alone, for 63 days…

This article first appeared in New Scientist on 8 August 2018. To continue reading, click here (paywall).










This article first appeared in New Scientist on 8 August 2018. To continue reading, click here.

Notes from underground

ON 3 November 1793, in the thick of The Terror, the porter of the disaffected Val-de-Grâce abbey in Paris took advantage of the general commotion to slip into a stairway that led into the network of tunnels under the capital, and set off in search of treasure…

This article first appeared in The Idler around 1 January 2018. To continue reading, subscribe here or hunt it down in WHSmiths or bookshops.

Nous les Français, ne devons pas oublier comment accueillir un voisin en détresse

D’ICI 2019, le gouvernement va créer 12,500 places pour les réfugiés et les demandeurs d’asile. “C’est une connerie”, dit Michel Sitbon. “On en a besoin maintenant. Avons-nous oublié, nous les Français, comment accueillir un voisin en détresse?”…

Cette tribune a été publiée sur le Huffington Post France le 21 juillet 2017. Cliquez ici pour lire l’article dans son intégralité.


In death, there is life

the-economist-logoMAX PLANCK, the inventor of quantum theory, once said that science advances one funeral at a time. He meant—or, at least, is presumed to have meant—that the death of a dominant mind in a field liberates others with different points of view to make their cases more freely, without treading on the toes of established authority. It might also rearrange patterns of funding, for they, too, often reflect established hierarchies…

This article first appeared in The Economist on 26 March 2016. To continue reading, click here.