From New Scientist...

We recently came across a new book, Pole Positions--The Polar Regions and the Future of the Planet, by Daniel Snowman. Then, a couple of weeks later, we received a copy of London Under London--A Subterranean Guide, one of the authors of which is Richard Trench. So it was interesting to see Jen Hunt of the University of Manchester stating in the October issue of The Psychologist: "Authors gravitate to the area of research which fits their surname." Hunt's example is an article on incontinence in the British Journal of Urology (vol 49, pp 173-176, 1977) by J. W. Splatt and D. Weedon. (This really does exist. We've checked it.)

Several readers have since provided evidence that corroborates this theory.

Who but A. M. Glass would choose to write a paper for Science on "optical materials" (vol 235, 1987)? And who but Peter Skidmore would choose to become an expert in cow dung (Insects of The British Cow-Dung Community, Field Studies Council, 1991)?

While Hugh Fish was chairman of The Royal Society of Chemistry's water chemistry group in the early 1980s, Gordon Cheeseman was heading its food chemistry group. There is also a John Fish, who is a marine biologist at Aberystwyth University, and a Mark Avery (a near miss, but never mind) who works for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The tendency seems particularly marked among astronomers, with Alan Heavens at the University of Edinburgh, Charles Telesco at The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, Sumner Starrfield at Arizona State University, Richard Starr at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Stella Law, who was an astronomer at Queen Mary and Westfield College, London, before changing careers--and, no, she didn't decide to become a barrister.

Then there is Raymond Bush (Tree Fruit Growing), Richard Lazarus (The Case Against Death), A. J. & H. A. Barker (The Complete Book of Dogs), Estelle Fuchs (Life, Love and Sex), Thomas M. Coffey (The Long Thirst: Prohibition in America), Sophie Wormser (About Silkworms and Silk), David Killingray (The Atom Bomb), Gladys Elder (The Alienated: Growing Older Today), Victoria Smallpiece (Urinary Tract Infection in Childhood) and G. M. Flood (Sewage Disposal from Isolated Buildings, which is "affectionately dedicated" to "W. C. S. and J. W. C.").

Finally, let us not forget that the London Hair Restoration Clinic is situated in Wigmore Street.