Welcome to The Thin End – Raymond Noble’s commentary on nature, science, society, and the human condition.

For informative articles and podcasts on biology, evolution, society, health, wellbeing, and politics.

  • Shapeshifters symposium
    It was a great pleasure to give a talk and participate in the Shapeshifters Symposium, Plasticity Here, There, and Everywhere, in Amsterdam at the end of May. The Shapeshifters Symposium was a transdisciplinary two-day event that explored the concept of plasticity across academic domains and beyond. My talk at the Shapeshifters symposium emphasised how organisms… Continue reading Shapeshifters symposium
  • The Awakening Earth
    Raymond and Denis Noble discuss their book, Understanding Living Systems, published by Cambridge University Press in July 2023. The book ends with a call to arms as humans awake to their responsibility for our precious ecosystems, Earth’s awakening. Here, Denis reads from the final paragraphs.
  • Understanding Living Systems
    Cambridge University Press published our book, Understanding Living Systems, in July. We were pleased to be guests on Perry Marshall’s podcast to discuss the book. This episode encapsulates our extraordinary enthusiasm and creativity when writing our book Understanding Living Systems. Why did we write it? What is it about? Why is it necessary? Thank you,… Continue reading Understanding Living Systems
  • Bees prepare for winter
    Busy bees, busy preparing for the winter ahead. They love this ivy, blooming in September and growing in abundance. So, nature’s little workforce comes in their thousands each day. Their priority now is gathering and storing nectar and pollen to have plenty in reserve to survive through the winter. Honey bees don’t hibernate, so they… Continue reading Bees prepare for winter
  • A microscopic key to evolution – volvox
    Does pond water hold a microscopic key to understanding evolution? Examining pond water with a microscope in 1674, Anton van Leeuwenhoek observed many single-celled organisms, which he called ‘animalcules’. Some formed colonies or clusters, others were clearly multi-cellular, and one of these is a tiny green alga called Volvox. So, could this tiny creature be… Continue reading A microscopic key to evolution – volvox
Ray Noble

Professor Raymond Noble is a chartered biologist and Royal Society of Biology Fellow. He has written extensively on biological theory and philosophy and is an author with his brother, Denis Noble, of the acclaimed book Understanding Living Systems, published by Cambridge University Press (2023). He was Deputy Dean of Life Sciences at UCL, London, and the Graduate Tutor in Women’s Health, where he is now an Honorary Professor.


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