Richard Beatty
Other subjects
Richard Beatty - writer and editor


Geology/Earth sciences

I’m a member of the Edinburgh Geological Society, and enjoy exploring the area’s remarkable geological diversity, whose interpretation helped lay the foundations of geology as a science in the 18th century.

Project-wise I’ve written glossaries for the large Dorling Kindersley encyclopedias Earth (2003), Ocean (2006) and Prehistoric (2009), as well as planning and briefing the earth sciences section of DK's New Children's Encyclopedia (2009). The chemical elements books I wrote also cover geology and geochemistry.


It’s always nice to work on astronomy, a favourite childhood subject. My most recent involvement is writing the glossary for the DK title The Stars (published September 2016).

In 2014 I proofread the popular cosmology book How To Build A Universe, written by author and illustrator Ben Gilliland who wrote the science strips for the Metro newspaper. The author kindly wrote to me before publication ‘Your comments and queries were more than useful, they were essential, and, at the end of the day, can only have made it a better (and more correct) book. Thank you for being so thorough.’


I’m experienced at dealing with maths at an elementary and school level. I recently wrote the glossary for the DK children’s book How to be Good at Math/Maths (the spelling differs between editions!) published in July 2016.

I also wrote several articles for the popular book Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers (2012). I’ve copy-edited primary school texts for BBC Books and secondary level texts for Heinemann/Harcourt, and at one time I desk-edited mathematical monographs for Oxford University Press.

History and humanities

I have broad interests in the arts and humanities, and sometimes get involved in publishing projects in these areas. I wrote the glossary for DK’s large History Year By Year encyclopedia (2011), which involved such delicate matters as defining the distinctions between different religious denominations. As a senior reference book editor at Blackwell Publishers from 1989 to 1992, I handled numerous titles ranging from philosophy and psychology to theatre. I have also proofread books in many non-scientific areas.

I belong to a non-fiction writers’ group in Edinburgh and now have plenty of experience of discussing the trials and tribulations of writing in different subject areas and for different readerships. I also blog on the history of poetry here.