The public interest in science has seemingly never been higher. Major TV series such as Wonders of the Solar System are watched by millions, the popular science shelves of bookshops are ever expanding. Some of these books even sell in respectable numbers. Is this a passing fad or is this trend being reflected in university admissions? Is there a line to walk between stimulating and enlightening or dumbed down content? Joining Little Atoms’ Neil Denny to discuss these questions and more are a panel of people who work at the sharp end of the promotion and the public understanding of science:
Marcus du Sautoy
Marcus du Sautoy is Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics, and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Formerly a Fellow of All Souls College, and Wadham College, he is now a Fellow of New College. Marcus is the author of three books, The Music of the Primes, Finding Moonshine and The Num8er My5teries, and has presented numerous TV series, most recently The Beauty of Diagrams for BBC4.
Adam Rutherford is a professional geek. He holds a PhD in genetics, and is an editor at the science journal Nature, where he runs their podcast and video department. He has presented a number of programs for Radio 4, and his TV series for BBC4 include Cell, and the upcoming Genome.
Ben Goldacre is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, dodgy government reports, evil pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks. He has written the weekly Bad Science column in the Guardian since 2003. Bad Science the book has sold 240,000 copies, reached #1 in the paperback non-fiction charts, and is published in 18 countries. Ben also somehow manages to fit in a full-time job as a medical doctor for the NHS.
Liz Bonnin studied Biochemistry at Trinity College, Dublin, and has a Masters in Wild Animal Biology from the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College. A tv presenter in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Liz is probably best known as a presenter of BBC1’s science show Bang Goes the Theory. Recently she could be seen as part of the Autumnwatch team, and most recently, presenting segments of BBC2’s Stargazing Live.