Thank you to the readers who have been asking how I am faring with the horrendous bushfires devastating Australia. I am absolutely fine. A little sick of breathing smoke, but way better off than anyone in the fire zones and the cities which have been smoked out: Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and countless towns. We have lost huge swathes of forest, and an unimaginable percentage of wildlife – each animal is an individual who suffered horribly. May it never happen again.
WAVESOUND AUDIOBOOK of MEMORY CRAFT: The PDF for the images can be dowloaded here.
I am very excited that both the Australian (Allen & Unwin) and American (Pegasus Books) editions of Memory Craft are now available in all good bookstores in Australia, New Zealand and the US and from BookDepository among many other online sites.
The Bestiary and Visual Alphabet is also now available. All details in the Memory Whisperer Shop.
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 have 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.