Why 3am Thoughts?

‘3am Thoughts’ is the name I gave to long-form essays which I write as a way of brain-dumping to try and make sense of the world.

The themes of the essays reflect my own academic background and current interests, intertwining history and politics, society and culture, and science.

I draw on different sources and perspectives to try to make sense of the world as we find it.

I value reason and empiricism, rationality and skepticism, intellectual honesty and inquiry. If you share these values, maybe you may find some of the essays here thought-provoking. If you do, consider passing it along.

Who I Am

My name is Alan Flanagan, and I suffer from an incurable intellectual curiosity. I’m currently London-based by way of Ireland, having grown up in Hong Kong.

My undergraduate degree was in History & English, before following the typical path of humanities graduates wondering what to do with their degrees: law school. I qualified as a Barrister in 2009 and spent almost a decade practicising law in Dublin, Ireland. In 2015 I started an MSc in nutrition, purely out of personal interest initially, but during which I was bitten by the research bug and met the fork in the road: stay in law and study part-time or move full-time into a PhD. I chose the latter, being awarded my doctorate in 2022 (thesis entitled, ‘Effects of Timing of Food Intake and Behaviours on Daily Rhythms of Human Metabolism’).

I came full circle back to long-form essay writing during the first Covid-19 ‘lockdown’ in the UK in March 2020. This Substack was born in 2021 as a permanent home for those essays.

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Writing on matters social, political, empirical and theoretical.


Alan Flanagan

I'm a former lawyer now working in science. 3am Thoughts is the name I gave to long-form essays intertwining history and politics, society and culture, and science.