Amazon Vine, Paul Nurse, and two upcoming talks

A few more Sunday snippets while I’m updating…

First of all, some great reviews of the book are starting to appear on Amazon Vine — the programme by which regular and highly-ranked Amazon reviewers get preview copies of upcoming titles. Take this as a taster from T Walker of Bedfordshire, under the title Does science matter to you and me?

You bet it does. Just look around you at all the things that make life so comfortable for us. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, the transport we use, the infrastructure and all those little gadgets – the mobile, the computer, all of it. Science gave them to us.
It’s also a vital part of of our economy. The UK is no longer viable as a large manufacturer, and we’ve seen the financial sector can be a poisoned chalice. Science and technology is what will drive our future, and we have to look after it.
This book advocates this is spades. Illustrated with the ways the science community is starting to make a difference to British politics, it’s written in a way that is easily understandable to the layman. It’s an important book, with an important message – we all need to get up and do something to ensure the future of this country. Even if it’s just writing to your MP to make your feelings known, it all helps.
I hate the phrase “must have”, but I’m going to use it here. This is a “Must Have” book.

Thanks Mr/Ms Walker!

It’s a good time to remind you also that the book is available for pre-order on Amazon now.

Next, Sir Paul Nurse, the Nobel Laureate and President of the Royal Society, has given a great interview today to Jonathan Leake of the Sunday Times (subscription required for link). It picks up a lot of the same themes as The Geek Manifesto, particularly on the value of science to the economy:

Few politicians fully appreciate the role science plays. They bail out the banks and spend in one go 10 or 20 times the whole science budget. They have no trouble with that, but for us fighting for [a rise of] 3% on the science budget is like extracting molars from the chancellor,” he said.

There is a lot of talk about driving the economy but, in a country like ours which does not have cheap labour or mineral resources, we have to rely on our brains and our science.

Paul has a proof copy of the book — I’m looking forward to his thoughts on it.

Finally, a couple of forthcoming events. On Wednesday February 29, I’m going to be taking part in a debate about Science and the Media at the LSE Literary Festival, with Jim Al-Khalili, Pedro Ferreira and Elaine Fox.

Ticket information is here if you’d like to come.

On Tuesday March 13, I’m taking part in an event in the British Library’s TalkScience programme, entitled From Lab Bench to Front Bench.

I’ll be debating the links between science and politics with Imran Khan of the Campaign for Science & Engineering, Julian Huppert, the only MP with a background as a research scientist, and Dr Alice Jones, a lecturer in psychology at Goldsmiths University who recently took part in the Royal Society’s MP-scientist pairing scheme.

Reserve a place by emailing TalkScience@bl.uk

About markgfh

Mark Henderson is Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health by supporting the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Geek Manifesto contains his personal views, not those of the Wellcome Trust. Before joining the Trust in January 2012, Mark was Science Editor of The Times, where he built a reputation as one of Britain's foremost science journalists and commentators. Mark's first book, 50 Genetics Ideas You Really Need to Know, was published in 2009 by Quercus
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2 Responses to Amazon Vine, Paul Nurse, and two upcoming talks

  1. Neil says:

    I just wanted to swing by and say grats on the book getting out! I’ve been quietly following the experience from the background. I’m very inspired by the work I know it took to put this dream into action.

    I’ll be picking it up ASAP.

    Thanks again.

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