2023 highlights

Lego is a company haunted by its own plastic

Lego's efforts to make toy bricks out of recycled plastic have faltered. Can the company ever be sustainable?

Hurricanes are escalating more quickly than ever

The most powerful storms in the world are intensifying at record rates. Climate change is likely to blame.

Finding a long-lost skeleton from the Batavia shipwreck

Archaeologists have unearthed new evidence of 400-year-old bloodshed on a remote Australian island.

Heat pumps: The 'geeks' obsessing over heating systems

Do heat pumps work when it's cold? These tech-savvy early adopters say, enthusiastically, "Yes".

The doctor forcing landlords to act on mouldy homes

Millions of Britons live in cold, damp houses that could kill them. This doctor wants to change that.

Exclusive: Rare 'industrial snowfall' recorded in UK

Pollution-induced snow appears to have fallen near to Heathrow Airport in January 2023.

Exclusive: Portraits of doomed Arctic explorers go to auction

Rare photographs taken just before Franklin's ill-fated expedition departed London in 1845 emerge for sale.

World's workers don cooling vests to battle heat waves

It's Anthropocene chic - clothing designed to help you survive a working day in blistering outdoor heat.

Leaning into Indigenous knowledge on climate change

Western scientists are finally recognising how Native peoples have long collected detailed environmental information.

Short reads

How animals may have conquered snowball Earth

Researchers look to life in Antarctica for tips on how animals might have survived Earth's chilliest eras.

Exclusive: Honeybees recruited to detect plant viruses

A project in Australia uses DNA sampling of beehives to find early signs of plant pathogens in the environment.

Exclusive: Oysters return to Belfast Lough after 100 years

Scientists find dozens of live oysters in Belfast Lough more than a century after they were last recorded here.

The plan to farm fish on the moon

Future moon residents may dine on fresh fish - but would fish eggs survive the trip?

Exclusive: Synthetic wine made without grapes

A team of entrepreneurs seeks to launch a new product - wine made by mixing compounds together in a lab.

Exclusive: Ridley Scott inspires Network Rail drone project

Rail engineers aren't hunting for aliens, though they are recreating technology from the film Prometheus.

Medium reads

Scientists have discovered a new set of blood groups

Did you know that scientists have now described 44 blood groups, and counting?

WhatsApp groups help get food to those who need it

In the cost of living crisis, more and more people are searching for - and distributing - food aid via social media.

The uncrackable origins of a mysterious video game

The old Atari game Entombed contains a brilliantly clever piece of code but no-one can work out how the game's developers came up with it.

What would a truly wild Ireland look like?

Ireland isn't as "green" as some people think, though it is increasingly the focus of rewilding efforts.

Revealing the earliest Covid-19 deaths in Europe

Tissue samples kept for months have yielded evidence that the virus was spreading earlier than once thought.

Yemen's deadly ghost ship

Off the coast of Yemen lies a floating bomb - a rusting oil storage ship filled with more than a million barrels of crude.

The great truffle shortage is coming

Climate change is wreaking havoc with Earth's ecosystems. Not least, those that support prized truffle fungi.

Why more Covid-19 patients are surviving intensive care

Survival rates are improving for a number of reasons, including pharmaceutical treatments.

Haulin' data: Truckers and workplace surveillance

Some US truckers are unhappy about the rise of new devices that record detailed data on their driving.

Long reads

They dreamed of esports glory, then their bodies broke down

Esports competitors reveal the shocking impacts of prolonged gaming on their bodies and mental health. Medical professionals and coaches are now realising that esports gamers need focused care - like traditional atheletes.

How going hungry affects children for their whole lives

In Scotland I met Kerry, a mother who starved herself to feed her kids. She now worries about their mental health. Is it time we started treating food insecurity as a public health crisis?

Energy crisis: How living in a cold home affects your health

After Russia invaded Ukraine, energy prices rocketed. This means a rise in people living in cold homes. I spoke to some of those whose health is affected as well as people trying to make a difference.

Saving fragments of civilisation from the big melt

In Norway, ice patch archaeologists are rescuing priceless artefacts as they emerge from melting glaciers.

The billionaire vs the fly

Environmentalists are worried that a proposed golf course in the northeast of Scotland could harm precious wildlife in the area - including a very rare fly. But some locals want the golf course to go ahead. They say it will bring tourism and jobs to the area. Who is right?

Inside the hunt for a million-dollar haul of ocean gold

I met the treasure hunters formulating a high-tech plan in a bid to retrieve gold coins from a 150-year old shipwreck.


Hello! Welcome to my portfolio website. I've been a full-time freelance journalist for nearly a decade, focusing on nature, medicine and technology. From artificial intelligence to Earth's climate, things are happening today at a pace that can seem bewildering. For me, science journalism is at its best when it offers readers a crash course in what's happening now, and why it matters socially and politically. My own work has been published by some of the world's top media organisations, including the BBC, New Scientist and The Economist. Some examples are listed above. I intend to keep bringing eye-opening science stories to people around the globe for years to come.

BBC News appearance

I've appeared on BBC World TV, BBC World Service Radio, BBC Radio 4, Sky TV and other international channels. It's always a pleasure to share my stories with wider audiences and I love getting asked to contribute to programmes (hint hint!). My talks on science and technology subjects have featured at a smattering of live events in the UK and further afield. If you're looking for someone to speak at your next live science- and/or technology-themed event, don't hesitate to get in touch using the form below.

BBC News appearance
Get in touch / send a tip

Feel free to send me an email. You can use this contact form, or shoot something over to chrisbaraniuk [at] gmail [dot] com. (Which is where the form will send your email anyway!) You might also wish to follow me on Twitter.