The Critically Mad Joseph Wakeling
Me . bio . CV

My public PGP key is available from several keyservers, including the one at You can also download it directly from here: Joseph Wakeling joe [@t] webdrake [d.t] net (0x4B1FCEE1) pub.asc. This key was issued on 21/02/2006. Earlier keys (also on the keyserver) have been revoked.

Ahhh, the most fantastic life story in the world... I arrived in this world in London on 17 May 1979 and promptly scared my mother half to death by not crying, leading her to think I wasn’t breathing. Fortunately I was, and have continued to do so ever since (N.B. this statement is likely to be subject to revision at some point in the future). The name on the birth certificate says Joseph Rushton Wakeling, but if this sounds a bit long-winded then Joe will do nicely.

Brushing aside the pre-potty-training days, I first made my presence felt on the international stage during a family trip to Egypt when I was two. Much to my delight I still have vague memories of the place, including going round the pyramids on horseback and the sight of Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus. Following this the next thing I remember is nursery and then primary school, at a wonderful trendy-lefty school in south London.

My family moved from London to Wales when I was eight (I’d been a frequent visitor before then, though — lots of family connections — and for this reason I would describe my nationality as ‘London Welsh’), and then after lots more school, during which time I learned to play the clarinet, started writing music, and other fun stuff, I wound up moving back to London to study maths at Imperial College (though in the event I think I spent more time taking in the London music scene). Towards the end of my time there I met a truly fantastic physicist called Per Bak and started getting into the brain, the physics of complex systems, and lots of other wonderful science.

With the help of Per and his wife Maya Paczuski, I wound up getting a PhD place at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. During my years of doctoring I have also spent time working at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington DC, the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and the ISI Foundation in Turin. I finally defended this opus terribilis on 19/20 October 2006 and am now looking to the future... More I cannot say.


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This page last updated: 3 June 2008.
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email: joe [@t] webdrake [d.t] net