Ian Gibbins

Ian Gibbins is a poet, electronic musician, and video artist, having been a neuroscientist for more than thirty years and Professor of Anatomy for twenty of them. His poetry covers diverse styles and media, including electronic music, video, performance, art exhibitions, and public installations, and has been widely published in print and online, along with three books: Urban Biology (2012); The Microscope Project: How things work (2014) and Floribunda (2015), the last two in collaboration with visual artists. He also has a key role in organising the Adelaide Festival of Ideas.

'Field Guide', a poem by Ian Gibbins

November 2007, no. 296 01 November 2007
1 prefaceI could, if you prefer, create a listlike a birdwatcher, concealedin a reedy hide, with binoculars,field guide and record book, a mnemonicof migration lines, our lines of sight,a cladogram of our evolving past. 2.1 comb jellies (Ctenophora)Our nerve netpulsinginvisibleour eightfoldmetachronic prismsripple through the rain of light. 2.2 spotted eagle rays (Myliobatridae)If we had feet, w ... (read more)

Ian Gibbins reviews 'How A Continent Created A Nation' by Libby Robin

April 2007, no. 290 01 April 2007
Ian Gibbins reviews 'How A Continent Created A Nation' by Libby Robin
Regardless of debates over Australian cultural identity, the flag and a potential republic, the ‘Green and Gold’ colours of our national sporting teams are recognised worldwide. The Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha), from which these colours are derived, was first proposed as a national flower in the 1880s during the prelude to Federation. However, it was not until the 1988 Bicentenary Celebrat ... (read more)

Ian Gibbins reviews 'The Best Australian Science Writing 2016' edited by Jo Chandler

December 2016, no. 387 30 November 2016
Ian Gibbins reviews 'The Best Australian Science Writing 2016' edited by Jo Chandler
Most scientists are writers. Notwithstanding the distortions induced by the ‘publish or perish’ imperative of funding agencies and academic appointment committees, the publication of original research is fundamental to the scientific process. Depending on the field, a successful scientist may write a hundred or more publications over his or her career. In terms of sheer numbers of words, this ... (read more)

Ian Gibbins reviews 'On Immunity' by Eula Biss

June-July 2015, no. 372 29 May 2015
Ian Gibbins reviews 'On Immunity' by Eula Biss
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of arguably the biggest single breakthrough in our knowledge of how immunity works. After years of uncertainty, it turned out that the immune system contains two major functional classes of white blood cells. One class recognises foreign organisms, such as invading bacteria or transplanted tissue from an incompatible organ donor, ultimately leading to their ... (read more)

Ian Gibbins reviews 'Gardens of Fire: An Investigative Memoir' by Robert Kenny

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
Ian Gibbins reviews 'Gardens of Fire: An Investigative Memoir' by Robert Kenny
As I write this article in my Adelaide Hills home, surrounded by native eucalypts and introduced fruit trees, large areas in New South Wales are dealing with the consequences of some of the worst bushfires in recorded history. Remarkably, given the unseasonally extreme weather, the rugged terrain, and the ferocity of the fires themselves, there have been few human casualties. Nevertheless, the cos ... (read more)

Ian Gibbins reviews 'Survival of the Beautiful: Art, science, and evolution' by David Rothenberg

March 2012, no. 339 01 March 2012
Ian Gibbins reviews 'Survival of the Beautiful: Art, science, and evolution' by David Rothenberg
David Rothenberg’s formal appellation at the New Jersey Institute of Technology is Professor of Philosophy and Music. He refers to himself as a ‘musician, composer, author and philosopher-naturalist’. Others have called him an ‘interspecies musician’. Rothenberg, a highly regarded jazz saxophonist and clarinettist, has published a range of books on science, technology, and music. But an ... (read more)