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Mark Henderson - The Geek Manifesto

The Geek Manifesto

In THE GEEK MANIFESTO, Mark Henderson, one of Britain’s leading science journalists, makes a compelling case that a new movement is promising to transform politics and science for the better. The geeks and nerds of this world are no longer apologising for their obsessive interest in science and the critical thinking on which it is founded, and are gradually finding an increasingly powerful public voice.

From Brian Cox’s ‘Wonders of the Solar System’ to Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Science’, some of the most surprising cultural success stories of recent years have been founded on the new-found confidence of the geeks. And now, through events such as the Simon Singh libel case, the sacking of Professor David Nutt as the Government’s drugs adviser, and the recent successful campaign to protect science from severe funding cuts, they’re starting to have a tangible impact on politics for the first time in recent memory.

Henderson makes a powerful case that this refreshing movement is sorely needed, because politics and science have never got out of one another what they should. Many of the most pressing issues of our time would be more tractable if politicians were to listen more to the geeks. Whether we want to improve education or cut crime, to enhance public health or to generate clean energy, science and its experimental method is critical.

Politicians let science down with inadequate funding, excessive regulation and damaging policy initiatives like the immigration cap. They also fail to draw properly on the scientific method – the most powerful tool in existence for finding out what works – to design policies that are fit for purpose.

Politicians, Henderson argues, have been allowed to get away with bad science for too long, because there has never been a political price to pay for failing to engage with it. THE GEEK MANIFESTO explains what needs to happen to embed science more deeply into politics and society – and how geeks can turn their frustrated outrage into positive action that our country’s leaders can no longer ignore.

THE GEEK MANIFESTO was published by Bantam Press (Transworld) on 10th May 2012