Helen writes regularly about the ocean, our planet, and the physics of everyday life. She has had a column on everyday physics in the Wall Street Journal since 2017, covering everything from why families of ducks swim in such perfect formation to the physics of whistling. She was a science columnist for Focus magazine from 2012-2018, and this column was shortlisted for the 'Columnist of the Year' by the Professional Publishers Association in 2014.

Her first book, Storm in a Teacup, was published in the UK in November 2016 and has been translated into 16 languages. It was the joint winner of the 2018 Asimov Prize (a national Italian science book prize awarded by the Gran Sasso Science Institute), named one of the top ten physics books of 2016 by Physics World, and has been awarded the Louis J. Mountbattan Author’s award by the American Meteorological Society.

Helen’s next book, Blue Machine, was published in the UK on the 1st of June 2023.

Join us as Helen talks all about her new book Blue Machine: How the Ocean Shapes our World

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THE TIMES BOOK OF THE WEEK: 'This beautifully written, sweeping guide shows how the deep movement of the seas have ruled our lives in unexpected ways over millennia.'

'A dazzle of stories beautifully told...Outstanding ... Her readers will see the seas anew.'
Horatio Clare, Telegraph

'Excellent and important.' Spectator

'In Helen Czerski's hands, the mechanical becomes magical. An instant classic.'
Tristan Gooley, author of How to Read Water

'Blue Machine is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read.'
Dr George McGavin, zoologist, entomologist and broadcaster

'A fascinating dive into the essential engine that drives our world. Czerski brings the oceans alive with compelling stories that masterfully navigate this most complex system.'
Gaia Vince, science journalist, broadcaster and author of Nomad Century



All of the Earth's ocean, from the equator to the poles, is a single engine powered by sunlight - a blue machine.

Earth is home to a huge story that is rarely told - that of our ocean. Not the fish or the dolphins, but the massive ocean engine itself: what it does, why it works, and the many ways it has influenced animals, weather and human history & culture.

In a book that will recalibrate our view of this defining feature of our planet, physicist Helen Czerski dives deep to illuminate the murky depths of the ocean engine, examining the messengers, passengers and voyagers that live in it, travel over it, and survive because of it. From the ancient Polynesians who navigated the Pacific by reading the waves to permanent residents of the deep such as the Greenland shark that can live for hundreds of years, she explains the vast currents, invisible ocean walls and underwater waterfalls that all have their place in the ocean's complex, interlinked system.

Timely, elegant and passionately argued, Blue Machine presents a fresh perspective on what it means to be a citizen of an ocean planet. The understanding it offers is crucial to our future. Drawing on years of experience at the forefront of marine science, Helen Czerski captures the magnitude and subtlety of Earth's defining feature, showing us the thrilling extent to which we are at the mercy of this great engine.

Helen visited the MBA in 2022 to learn more about the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey as part of her research for this book. During her visit, Helen learned all about the importance of this unique long-term monitoring programme, and we’re proud to see it featured in this new book, sharing the story of the CPR Survey with a wider audience.