Written by

John Mitchinson

John Mitchinson is a writer and publisher and co-founder of Unbound, the world's leading crowdfunding platform for books. He was previously Director of Research and a senior writer for the BBC TV show 'QI'. He is co-host of the popular books podcast Backlisted and a Vice-President of the Hay Festival. He writes a monthly column, 'The Upside Down', for Byline Times

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The Upside Down: Why Being ‘Bird-Brained’ is a Compliment

, 16 September 2022
Warbling, tweeting, courting, teaching – John Mitchinson explores the ever-deepening mystery of birdsong

The Upside Down: Breaking the Frame of History

, 9 August 2022
John Mitchinson lifts the lid on why the Luddites weren’t really ‘Luddite’

The Upside Down: Themself Alone

, 12 July 2022
John Mitchinson explores a surprisingly modern role model from the backstreets of Jacobean London

The Upside Down: Back to the Future

, 17 June 2022
John Mitchinson explores why we are hardwired to remember the past, with memories that are made in the moment

The Upside Down: We Won’t Bow Down – What I Learned in New Orleans

, 20 May 2022
John Mitchinson reflects on his latest trip to the ‘Big Easy’

The Upside Down: Where Is the Man? The Many Lives of Pontius Pilate

, 14 April 2022
John Mitchinson explores the enduring fascination with the man who was asked to send Jesus to his death

The Upside Down: Let Them Eat Nothing

, 18 March 2022
John Mitchinson explores how the horrors of the Holodomor still underpin Ukrainian identity

The Upside Down: Kissing Cousins – Why Learning About Neanderthals Teaches Us More About Ourselves

, 18 February 2022
John Mitchinson explores why our closest cousins were wrongly defamed as boorish, rude stupid louts

The Upside Down: Glass Act – The Substance that Enabled the Scientific Revolution

, 21 January 2022
John Mitchinson explains why gazing out of his window or at his computer screen brings him wonderment at an invention we spend little time observing

The Upside Down: Slow Company – The Shameful History of Humans and the Giant Tortoise

, 21 December 2021
John Mitchinson explains why our relationship with these fascinating creatures is such a depressing one

The Upside Down: The Appeal of Hibernation

, 12 November 2021
If humans can’t yet hibernate, could we approach something like the ‘torpor’ that bears and other larger mammals practice? asks John Mitchinson

The Upside Down: Wish You Were Here – The Persistence of the Postcard

, 5 October 2021
With emails, text messages and WhatsApp groups now a dominant feature of all our lives, John Mitchinson considers the enduring qualities of a more humble form of social communication

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Less Is More – What Buckminster Fuller Still has to Teach Us

, 6 September 2021
John Mitchinson explores the lessons in the inventor, philosopher and mathematician’s ‘doing more with less’ philosophy

The Upside Down: Odd and Odder – The True Value of Eccentricity

, 10 August 2021
John Mitchinson makes the case for those who have lived and died by their own rules, flying in the face of conventionality 

The Upside Down: Let Them Eat Bread

, 13 July 2021
John Mitchinson charts a brief history of British food and the emergence of a humble meal enjoyed billions of times each year

The Upside Down: The Lie of the Land

, 14 May 2021

The Upside Down: The Cobbett Conundrum

, 13 April 2021

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Keep Clean and Carry On

, 4 May 2020

THE UPSIDE DOWN: The Eloquence of Saying Nothing

, 6 April 2020

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Reasons to be Cheerful

, 24 February 2020

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Puppy Love

, 20 January 2020

THE UPSIDE DOWN: The Point of Wasps

, 30 September 2019

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Learning to Love Weeds

, 10 June 2019
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