Over the past few weeks, it’s been great to see so many positive responses from MPs who’ve received a copy of The Geek Manifesto from a constituent. A fair number are reading it already, with others looking to do so over the summer recess.
Here are a few I’ve gathered already. I’ll also post a collection of letters sent to Dave Watts, who started the Pledgebank campaign.
Please do add more in comments.
First up is Jenny Willott MP, who highlighted the book as her summer reading on The World at One. Listen here.
Barry Sheerman (@bsheermanmp) tweeted that he was already enjoying the book:
Just getting in to The Geek Manifesto- Why Science Matters good stuff so far @GuardianEdu
Sent 20 hours ago
Twitter for iPad
Hilary Minor heard back from Jeremy Hunt:
I’ve had such a great reply from Jeremy Hunt, M.P. He said:
Following yesterday’s email the book has now landed on my desk As the Minister responsible for technology, I am sometimes called a geek myself! So I will read the Geek Manifesto with great interest. Thank you for so kindly sending it to me.
Richard Chiswell heard from Damian Green:
Letter received from Damian Green MP:
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of The Geek Manifesto.
I have had this recommended by friends of mine and I will read it with great interest.
My editor, Susanna Wadeson, heard from Philip Dunne:
Letter received from Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow, thanking me for his copy of the book: ‘I agree that knowledge of good science has been under represented in parliament in recent years. As the Government Whip to the Education Dept, I can reassure you that the Government is seeking to reinvigorate teaching and our examination system, and the good news is that more students are already seeking to undertake the three sciences at GCSE that in recent years’. I’ll write back to explain that it is not simply a matter of improving the scientific education available but also about bringing the scientific method to bear on policy-making. He needs to read the book. Good that he took the trouble to reply though.
Jane Ellison MP wrote to Dave Cross:
Today I got a really nice handwritten letter from my MP, Jane Ellison (Com, Battersea).
She thanked me very much for the letter and said that she already has one self-described “hardline rationalist” working in her office.
She said that she planned to take the book home to read over the weekend.
I’ve had a lot of contact with her in the two years since she became my MP, but this is the first time she has taken the time to write a letter by hand.
Sean Ellis (@sean_t_ellis) tweeted:
Nice letter this morning from @JDjanogly MP thanking me for copy of The Geek Manifesto by @markgfh. Something to read during recess, he says
Sent 3 days ago
Twitter for Android
Iain Duncan Smith was less interested:
My MP, Iain Duncan Smith, acknowledged receipt of the book (well, his staff did…!), but has turned down the offer of a meeting to discuss it owing to being a busy Minister…
And finally Martin Horwood MP, who introduced me at the Cheltenham Science Festival, wrote a nice piece in his local newspaper column:
WAS I ambushed by the Science Festival? In a good way, yes.
I was introducing Mark Henderson, author of The Geek Manifesto which argues for a closer and better relationship between science and politics. He suggests not only that politicians need better understanding of matters scientific, but that the scientific method itself – evidence-based, keen on testing and flexible when presented with evidence of error – could improve policymaking no end.
It’s an important message and, of course, I was the target as well as the warm-up act. What about all the other MPs? Only one is actually a working scientist – Cambridge Lib Dem Dr Julian Huppert, with whom I shared an office for several months. He used to have unintelligible phone conversations about genetics and the sex lives of fruit flies.
The rest of us are all to receive a copy of Mr Henderson’s book, each one paid for by a science-friendly constituent. Mine is in the post, courtesy of one Maggie Cunliffe. Thank you, wherever you are.