Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a writer and cloud-watcher. In 1993, he co-founded The Idler magazine, described by Time Out as ‘the world’s finest periodical’. In 2004 he founded the Cloud Appreciation Society, and wrote its inaugural publication The Cloudspotter’s Guide (2006), which went on to become an international bestseller. His book on the waves that we experience in our everyday lives through the body, through music, colour and those of nature, The Wavewatcher’s Companion (2010), was the winner of the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Writing.


famous for cloud watching takes us through the story of waves. Waves surround us and the visible are heavily outnumbered by the invisible. We all know about some types of waves- the waves crashing on the beach or ripples on a pond; Pretor-Pinney looks at tidal waves and Mexican waves but he also manages to bring in microwaves, the beating heart, electromagnetic waves, shock waves and a multitude of surprising and wonderful ideas.