Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Appearance at Edinburgh International Science Festival


I'm appearing at the Edinburgh International Science Festival today. A description of the proceedings:


Who is best placed to write about science for the general public – scientists, who know what they’re talking about; or writers, who know how to express ideas clearly and readably? Our panel of distinguished authors have written books about botany, chemistry, alchemy and scientific history and biography. Join them for a conversation about knowing and communicating. Are they scientists, or writers, or both? Hosted by Stranger Than Fiction, Edinburgh’s only organisation devoted to writers of non-fiction.


And from Stranger Than Fiction's website, written by STF kingpin Colin Salter:

Stranger Than Fiction‘s public debut is only three weeks away now. As already announced, we are hosting a discussion about science writing at the EISF this year, appropriately in the Summerhall Anatomy Lecture Theatre. The event, “Who Should Write about Science?”, is at 5.30pm on Tuesday 15th April 2014. The panel consists of:

Sean Martin, whose proposal for his current project A Short History of Disease we discussed at STF a few months ago


James McCarthy, whose piece on botanical fieldwork you may remember from STF in January


Barbara Melville, writer in residence at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine


Mhairi Stewart, a molecular parasitologist and expert in public engagement with science.


For my sins I’ll be in the chair trying to keep track of the conversation. I hope you can come along, enjoy the debate and join in the Q&A session at the end.


More info, tickets, etc, here:




You can find out more about Stranger Than Fiction here.


As Colin mentioned, I am working on a book entitled A Short History of Disease (a vague sequel to my earlier The Black Death). This should be out this time next year - stayed tuned for more details. So most of my contribution today will be relating to matters medical.
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