About me

I’m the science writer at the i newspaper; I also do freelance science writing. Until January 2022 I was the science editor at UnHerd, and until January 2018 I was science writer for BuzzFeed UK; before that, I was a comment and features writer for the Telegraph, having joined in 2007. My second book, How to Read Numbers: A Guide to Statistics in the News  (and Knowing When to Trust Them) was published in 2021; my first book, The Rationalist’s Guide to the Galaxy: Superintelligent AI and the Geeks Who Are Trying to Save Humanity’s Future, was published in 2019. I’ve written for the Times, the i, the Telegraph, the Observer, the Guardian, politics.co.uk, New Scientist, CNN, Wired, Smithsonian Air & Space, and elsewhere.

I’ve won several awards, including the Royal Statistical Society’s award for statistical excellence in journalism (twice, in 2018 and 2020) and the Association of British Science Writers’ science journalist of the year (in 2021). My first book was one of the Times’s science books of the year.

Contact me via Twitter or by email.

4 thoughts on “About me

  1. Dear Tom,
    I was delighted to find your name on Twitter. You must be the son of Eileen snd Chris. I was a colleague of your mother and father at Alleyn’s where we all taught English. In fact, Eileen and I started at the school the same term, in September 1979 and soon became good friends. She was a wonderful teacher, full of energy, with a brilliant mind, respected by her colleagues and adored by her pupils. We would often sit together at break time, chatting non stop on a very wide range of topics. I remember that Chris had a beautiful singing voice.
    I missed Eileen terribly when she left Alleyn’s and I was very sad to hear that she later passed away. Whenever I walk past the Memorial Garden at the school, I think of her and, as I now have two granddaughters at the Junior school, I am there quite often. I finally retired in 2007.
    I have wondered, over the years, how you were getting on – it was good to read about your interesting career.
    My son is Jay Elwes, former deputy editor of Prospect Magazine and now commissioning editor of TheArticle. I’ll try to put you in touch.
    With very best wishes,
    Jean Cary-Elwes

    1. Jean, hi. I think you have the wrong Tom Chivers – my parents are Alison and Andy, and are both alive and well. HOWEVER, I wonder if you are referring to Tom Chivers the poet. You can find him on twitter at @thisisyogic and he edits Penned in the Margins. I would give you his email address as well, but on a public forum I think I’d better not. Feel free to DM me on twitter if you can’t get hold of him and I’ll put you in touch.

  2. Hello. I work for Oxford University Press, in Canada. We are publishing a textbook, titleded Perspectives, in which we would like to use your article Legalizing cannabis is the best way to protect kids from its harmful effects whch can be found at thid url:https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/17/opinions/canadian-cannabis-legalization-chivers-opinion-intl/index.html
    Would you be able to licesne this to us?
    I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
    Be well,

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