One of the key things I’m looking to do in The Geek Manifesto is to chronicle and celebrate what I call the “rise of the geeks”. I’m thinking here of the way in which, over the past couple of years, people who care about scientific issues have started to form communities and networks, largely online but also through initiatives like Skeptics in the Pub.
As they (we) have started to realise that there are more people who agree with them than they might have appreciated, they’re starting to see the potential for activism. This has happened to coincide with a few biggish issues on which to campaign — Science is Vital, libel reform, homeopathy etc. It also led to somewhat higher profile for science in the 2010 UK election (though it was still anything but a major issue). There was the #scivote hashtag on Twitter, and we had the three big debates between the science spokespeople.
I think you can also see this phenomenon in the success of Ben Goldacre’s book, in Robin Ince’s Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, and even in the popularity of Brian Cox’s TV and radio work (Infinite Monkey Cage as well as Wonders).
What can you tell me about your involvement in all this? What motivated you to start agitating more on this sort of issue? Are there other events and initiatives I should be aware of, and include? And what can we learn from the successes and failures so far?