Michael Brooks
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Michael Brooks has a PhD in quantum physics, is a columnist for the New Statesman and a consultant for New Scientist magazine. He is the author of the bestselling 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense: The Most Intriguing Scientific Mysteries of our Times. Its follow-up, Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science, published in July 2011,explores the extraordinary lengths scientists go to in order to make their world-changing discoveries.

Brooks’s writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Observer, the Times Higher Education, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and many other publications. His engaging and inclusive approach to science has garnered him invitations to lecture at New York University, the American Museum of Natural History and Cambridge University as well as numerous science and literary events, including the world famous Hay and Edinburgh festivals.

Though a trained scientist, Brooks is not afraid to discuss the darker sides of science. He is also prepared to get his hands dirty: he was the first person in the UK to take a hit from a Taser electro-shock weapon, and researching 13 Things involved more electric shocks – this time to explore the placebo effect. His investigations also led him to hand over control of his body to a neuroscientist in order to test controversial claims about the nature of human free will.

Michael is the co-founder of The Science Party, and stood against new-age Tory MP David Tredinnick in the 2010 General Election to highlight the scientific illiteracy of the UK’s politicians.

When not out risking life, limb, sanity and career for the cause, he lives in Sussex with his wife and two children.

Blog Entries by Michael Brooks

Gleickgate: Self-Immolation For the Greater Good

(3) Comments | Posted 22 February 2012 | (13:24)

When Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in December 2010, precipitating the Arab Spring, no one complained that he was giving street vendors a bad name, or thoughtlessly putting those around him in danger. Clearly, we expect our scientists to be less impassioned about their...

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So, goodbye UK nuclear

(6) Comments | Posted 13 October 2011 | (13:40)

On Thursday, Chris Huhne admitted in a speech at the Royal Society the UK government has made a consistent foul-up on nuclear energy since the 1950s. "We have made pretty much every mistake human ingenuity could devise," he said, adding "And boy, are we British inventive."

He's right:...

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The Nobel Prize for "nutty" Physics

(0) Comments | Posted 4 October 2011 | (12:12)

On 12 January 1998, astronomer Adam Riess received an email from a colleague. "In your heart, you know that this is wrong," it said.

The "it" in question was the observation, using state of the art telescopes and instrumentation, that the universe is not only expanding, but...

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Meet Marina, the Domestic Extremist

(2) Comments | Posted 13 August 2011 | (00:00)

In a week dominated by a sense of disappointment in our young people, I've just seen something that offers hope: young people breaking the law for good reason.

Just Do It: A Tale of Modern Day Outlaws is a documentary that follows the fortunes of a group of...

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I've Had My Day In Court

(4) Comments | Posted 3 August 2011 | (00:00)

When you write books about science, you don't expect to make the news. On Monday, though, I did. Jake Davis carried my latest book into court, waving it at journalists waiting at the entrance. Davis is accused of taking part in various hacking conspiracies, including an attack that...

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Science vs. the BBC: The Fight Goes On

(1) Comments | Posted 21 July 2011 | (00:00)

Reading Steve Jones' fascinating report on the state of science coverage by the BBC, I was struck by parallels between his recommendations and efforts made by science's elite during the 1940s and 1950s. Nothing has changed it seems.

As Timothy Boon says in his brilliant Films...

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Sex Scandals of Science

(1) Comments | Posted 4 July 2011 | (16:52)

While David Flory awaits trial, I can't help but be amused that the story about a physics professor running a prostitution ring has caused such a scandal. It seems to be the science thing: over on the HuffPo's US site the story carries the tag "Weird News". Why...

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