About Mark Henderson

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

20 Responses to About Mark Henderson

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  4. Graeme Smith says:

    Hi Mark, I notice that you are giving your presentation of “The Geek’s Manifesto” to the Leicester Skeptics and I wondered if you might be interested in doing a repeat performance in Bedford? We are a small group (an offshoot of the Bedfordshire Humanists) trying to get a branch of SitP in Bedford and are planning our inaugural session on Oct 17. It would really help us get established if we could have a ‘big name’ speaker such as yourself to kick it off and the title and content of this talk looks like the ideal introduction for new skeptics. If that date is not convenient, we also have a slot on Jan 16.

    We are using a pub near Bedford University where we plan to publicise the event heavily amongst the students and also to draw on our humanist contacts, so it could be a mixed audience.

    Being a fledgling organisation we can’t really offer an appearance fee, but of course we will cover your expenses in getting to Bedford. We also intend to set up a display table where you could display and hopefully sell copies of your book, if you wanted to bring some copies along.

    If this is of interest to you please let me know and we’ll see what we can arrange
    Graeme Smith

  5. Howard Lovatt says:


    In a couple of Australian interviews you said that people in Australia were organising sending your book to Aussie pollies. Do you know who is doing that? A quick google didn’t turn anything up except your comments.

    Keep up the great work,

    — Howard.

  6. Peter Thompson says:

    Hi Mark,

    My name is Peter Thompson and I am starting to organise a series of lectures for Sixth Form students at a school in Bath. I would love to build more science lectures into the programme this year and after hearing you on Radio 4 just now, know that our students would gain a great deal from hearing you speak. It would be wonderful to have a real science authority with us and someone who speaks so engagingly.

    Our lectures take place on a Monday afternoon during term time at 15:20 and the usual format is a 40 minute talk followed by the opportunity for questions. I could raise a fee and cover your travel expenses. Please would consider coming to Bath?

    Thank you very much for considering this and best wishes,


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  9. Vicky says:

    A brilliant and riveting read. Very timely also. There is a driver for more meaures of non market goods such as the environement and education as discussed in the book. I hope that this the geek manifesto has helped to accelerate this, particularly for the environment which has suffered as a result of political agendas. It is for scientists and critical thinkers to make government policy makers aware of their issue with data. Civil and public servants are often under intense pressure and extremely under resourced, particularly during recessions. In some cases it is down to their sheer determination, and personal sacrifice that science remains central in decision making, and evidence base of policies are set that have been rigorously tested. For policies to change, and change to happen scientists need to get creative, be productive, and most of all work with NOT against policy makers. Yes lobbying works, but the science behind the lobby must equally be sound, and preented accesibly to the non scientist. I agree science should be more integral to our thinking, and would challenge any critic of a U turning governement to look critically whether they would trust anyone who kept the same view regardless of change in their knowledge! I think psycology has a big impication here in the future for the shameless manipulation (and concious contravention of human rights in my opinion). Read more about government plans for a drive toards better measurability of hard to value service here: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/green_book_valuationtechniques_250711.pdf

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  18. Brandon says:

    I really enjoyed reading “The Geek Manifesto”, and I imagine your ‘call to arms’ resonates in the minds of many scientifically-minded readers, as it did in mine. Your clear articulation of the nature, and scope of the problem in the political process, giving powerful examples, and remedying actions has convinced me to become more active in politics in Australia. The UK and US focus of the book gave an interesting insight into the challenges in those countries, which are mirrored (unfortunately perhaps even more strongly) in Australia, particularly in the last few years.

    P.S. If you do endeavour to send copies to Australian politicians, this would be admirable, but I fear largely unproductive. There is more than just an ignorance of science and its methods, but clear attacks on scientific organisations, scientists and their supporters, beyond what you described in the UK. The open disdain shown towards scientists and the smothering of dissenting voices reflects an ‘us and them’ attitude that has grown far worse than merely the festering anti-intellectualism that has characterised Australian society for decades.

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