This Is Not A Science Book

The Geek Manifesto

The Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson

The Geek Manifesto by Mark Henderson is a book which wears its heart on its sleeve. This is unashamedly a polit­ical book — a cam­paign. The author, Mark Henderson, is Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust, and was formerly Science Editor of The Times. With those cre­den­tials, it is no sur­prise that The Geek Manifesto is power­fully and clearly written.

And yet… hav­ing just fin­ished the book, I am troubled by cer­tain aspects of it. Henderson is clear about the need for more evidence-driven policy in poit­ics, and yet seems strangely naive about the nature of polit­ics itself. For me, Henderson suc­ceeds in mak­ing the case that politi­cians choose to ignore sci­entific evid­ence when it suits them. But he fails to con­vince me that this book will make any sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ence in a age of coali­tion polit­ics and polit­ical contingency.

Where does this book leave us and what role should sci­ent­ists play in politics?


The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters
By Mark Henderson
Bantam Press
ISBN: 978–0-593–06823-6

Read: Online extracts


AJ Cann. ORCID 0000-0002-9014-3720

Alan Cann is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester and formerly Internet Consulting Editor for AoB.