Samuel Arbesman

In addition to my scientific research, I write for popular audiences. My work has appeared in The Boston Globe, where I am a regular contributor to the Ideas section, and The New York Times.

I also created something called The Milky Way Transit Authority - a map of our galaxy in the style of a subway map - which you might have heard of.


The pay is $8.57 million an hour, but bulls are involved. Recent highlights from the Ideas blog. Boston Globe, October 24, 2010: K3, Ideas.

If 'shark bear' is the answer, what was the question? Recent highlights from the Ideas blog. Boston Globe, October 17, 2010: K3, Ideas.

The me-sized universe: Some parts of the cosmos are right within our grasp. Boston Globe, September 19, 2010: K1, Ideas.

Hard to find: Why it’s increasingly difficult to make discoveries - and other insights from the science of science. Boston Globe, July 18, 2010: C1, Ideas.

Warning: Your reality is out of date: Introducing the mesofact. Boston Globe, February 28, 2010: C3, Ideas.

League of nations: Bored with football stats? Introducing fantasy geopolitics. Boston Globe, November 15, 2009: K10, Ideas.

Naming the sky: The true story of one man's quest to give George Plimpton a permanent presence in orbit. Boston Globe, September 27, 2009: K1, Ideas.

The mysterious equilibrium of zombies: and other things mathematicians see at the movies. Boston Globe, September 6, 2009: C3, Ideas. (plus supplement).

Reprinted in M. Pitici (ed.) The Best Writing on Mathematics 2010, Princeton University Press, 2010, forthcoming.

Start the clock: A modest proposal for improving football: the 'time-in'. Boston Globe, August 16, 2009: C2, Ideas.

What to do if your child has superpowers: A FAQ for concerned parents. Boston Globe, June 21, 2009: C2, Ideas.

A brief inquiry into the nature of sports fandom: Why the home team doesn't deserve your loyalty. Boston Globe, March 22, 2009: K10, Ideas. (this is tongue-in-cheek)

The Arbesman Limit: How to be famous in a few easy steps. Boston Globe, February 8, 2009: L10, Ideas.

Anatomy of a Spring Break. Boston Globe, January 25, 2009: C10, Ideas.

A Journey to Baseball's Alternate Universe. New York Times, March 30, 2008: WK12 (with S. Strogatz).

How to Get Your Own Scientific Eponym, and Introducing the Arbesman Limit, Science Creative Quarterly, Issue 3.

Human Anatomy Terms That Sound Like Things You Would Go See on a Vacation, Science Creative Quarterly, Issue 3.