I am very excited that Memory Craft is now available from BookDepository (International) and Booktopia and Amazon.com.au (both Australia only) among many other sites. It is now in all good bookstores in Australia and New Zealand. It will hit the overseas stores by early next year. The Pegasus Books edition is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
I am a science writer and Honorary Research Associate at LaTrobe University, Australia. My field of research is the memory methods used by those who depended on their memories for everything they knew: oral cultures including Australian Aboriginal, Native American, Pacific and African societies. I explore the techniques used as literacy slowly spread, especially in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Europe as well as glorious mnemonic art forms used across Asia.
It is only the last few hundred years of Western society that memory methods and knowledge has not been highly valued. We have gained a great deal from literacy and technology, but we have lost our memory skills on the journey. We can do so much better by using our memories more effectively as well.
In Memory Craft I look at how all these techniques can be applied in every day life in contemporary society, including the implications for education and ageing. These are memory methods every one can use – and there are lots of them!
I practice all these methods to ensure I really understand how they work. Given my pathetically poor natural memory, I am constantly shocked by how effective they can be. Through working on my 36 memory experiments, I am committing vast amounts of information to memory. I compete in the Australian Memory Championships, taking the Senior title for the last two years.
In The Memory Code, I explored the necessity of memory methods to prehistoric cultures. This offers radical new interpretations for their ancient monuments such as Stonehenge, the Nasca Lines and the moai of Easter Island. It is written for a general audience and published in Australia by Allen & Unwin. It has been released as an audio book by Audible and published by Atlantic Books in the UK and Pegasus Books in the US. It is now available in traditional Chinese and Czech.
My academic book, Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies is published by Cambridge University Press. Based on my PhD thesis, it gives the full academic justification for my theories about indigenous memory systems and archaeology.
I have ventured into the world of memory athletes. Competing in the 2017 and 2018 Australian Memory Competitions, I took out the Australian Senior Memory Champion title for both events. Less practical than most of my memory experiments, I am surprised that I actually enjoy memorising shuffled decks of cards and strings of random numbers in decimal and binary.
My previous books include the popular science titles of Spiders: learning to love them, Crocodile and The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal. I have one novel published, Avenging Janie, and ten books for education.
Grounded: Indigenous Knowing in a Concrete Reality is an academic essay in open access e-book format on Indigenous knowledge systems and the implications for education.
With a background in engineering, physics, mathematics, information technology and gifted education, I have spent decades in teaching. A full Curriculum Vitae can be found here.