The Geek Manifesto is going to every MP

We’re there… At about 11.15 this morning, PledgeBank recorded the 325th pledge to send a copy of The Geek Manifesto to every MP. Pam Lynch was the critical pledger.

As my publisher, Transworld, has agreed to match every pledge to send one, that means we’ve got all the pledges we need to ensure every MP gets a copy of the book.

Many many thanks to Dave Watts for starting the pledge, and to all those of you who have signed up.

We’re now establishing how sending the copies will work. Full details will follow from Dave (which I’ll reproduce here), but broadly it will operate something like this.

We’ll set up a shared spreadsheet with all 650 MPs. Please find your MP, and note that you’re sending (or have sent) a copy. If your MP is taken, pick another one.

The cheapest books are available through Amazon — and you can also write a gift message. I suggest too emailing your MP’s office to explain that you’re sending a book, and why. Chris Chambers’s letter to his MP, Jenny Willott, is a great model.

Those MPs who aren’t sent a book by a pledger will get one directly from Transworld, with a covering letter from Dave.

If we have excess pledges, we’ll first use them to deal with any duplications, then have a think about who else could use a copy. Ministers in the House of Lords, perhaps. Or permanent secretaries.

And if you’ve not already pledged and would like to, Chris Chambers and Tom Crick have started a parallel initiative to send copies to Welsh Assembly Members.

Once again, thank you to all the pledgers. Now we need to badger our MPs to read the thing!

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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13 Responses to The Geek Manifesto is going to every MP

  1. Zeno says:

    Excellent!
    Would it be worth sending any excess copies to newpaper editors or some selected journalists?
    Delingpole really needs to read it, but you may think that would just be a waste…

  2. DirtySketel says:

    This is great! I was too poor to pledge at the time (just left university, not working yet), but I will certainly write to my MP encouraging them to read it, and I hope others will do the same!

  3. Pingback: An Open Letter to David Rutley MP on the Geek Manifesto « O'Really?

  4. @fredgarnett says:

    Shouldn’t those books purchased for MPs be bought from a local bookshop, and that purchase publicised both for the shop and for the GEEK Manifesto argument. I’m happy to do that in my borough if I am not alone @fredgarnett

  5. Rebecca Rees says:

    Thanks for great Start the week discussion (Mark, Jill Rutter, David Blunkett & David Nutt) http://bbc.in/MIniQI. I’m busy working out a way to make the podcast required “reading” for our online module, “Systematic reviews for policy and practice” http://bit.ly/LqpWQD. I hereby pledge to write to my MP.

  6. Pingback: A new Manifesto issued to every MP | Josephine Jones

  7. I’ve now sent the book, emailed the recipient and also emailed my own MP (who was already taken).

    I’ve blogged it here:

    http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/a-new-manifesto-issued-to-every-mp/

    I was wondering if it would perhaps be a good idea for geeks who have donated to MPs in the same region to collectively contact the local press? For example, I sent my copy to Barbara Keeley, whose constituency is in Greater Manchester. There are a lot of MPs there – perhaps if pledgers worked together it might make more of a story and there would possibly be more chance of the Manchester Evening News covering it? I think I’ll get in touch with @gmskeptics and see what comes of it. Maybe local Skeptics in the Pub groups could get behind this, or at least encourage people to email their MPs.

  8. Pingback: Have you heard of The Geek Manifesto? « the bug

  9. Having heard Mark present his remarkable book at Nesta this morning, I shall take my copy to an event at the House of Lords tonight with The Lord Laird of Artigarvan, Professor John Laird CFIPR FRSA who is into IT – which, after all, couldn’t have been created without science.

    Now, however, IT can be used to “re-invent” science, or, even “take the noise out of the data”. This has been suggested by one professor who looked at my innovative software methods. See http://bit.ly/L6HFaL, if you’re curious.

  10. Alan says:

    I have just finished reading the Geek Manifesto courtesy of the MP I work for.
    I think it makes a powerful case for critical analysis of issues and questioning assumptions based on so called scientific evidence.
    However some insight into how the political system works may enlighten some assumptions made in the book.
    Firstly it is wrong to assume that politicians are not exposed to a great deal of scientific data, indeed pressure groups and lobbyists use a wide range of scientific data to pursue their aims.
    The problem is that this data is often baised to support a particular argument or stance.In this environment it is very difficult to balance the validity of one research over another.
    Therefore it is not suprising politicians are led up a few dead ends.
    Secondly the Geek manifesto carries it own bias and prejudices about “non scientific thoughts and ideas”. One has to acknowledge that even the “doyen” of the geeks, Brian Cox often offers conjecture as scientific fact in his bid to popularise Science.
    Thirdly politics does depend a great deal on social and persuasive skills, qualities that have not always been associated with Geek culture.
    Nevertheless I agree that Geeks have an important role in politics if they can pursue an independent verification of “scientific facts” touted in parliament and in the media.
    To do this you need to set up an organisation that explores these issues without bias and prejudice and gain credibility amongst politicians,media and the general public.
    There is an important role out there for Geeks, but are they willing to undertake it?

  11. Pingback: Discussing the future of Lib Dem science policy

  12. Pingback: Science is Vital 2013 | Purely a figment of your imagination

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