When people think about publishing, they tend to think about content, and assume that the technology challenges in publishing are about transferring the printed page to screen. For many consumer publishing businesses such as newspapers, magazines and trade books this is mostly true, but in science and education publishing the challenges are much greater as we are increasingly in the software business.
Anyone who wants to be successful in business needs to stay ahead of the game, that's why I've built my career around innovation. From the early days of competing in equestrian competitions and progressing to training and selling horses, I then learned the ropes of internet marketing and set up my own company in my garden shed...
My daughter recently had to do a project for her science home work. She was making a board game that involved great scientists. Of course there was Einstein, Peter Higgs, Dmitri Mendeleev, Euclid, Joseph Black, Jan Van Helmont, Galileo, Schrödinger (and his cat)... Only the cat wasn't male. And that was because it was a theoretical cat.
The Met Office now has a team of space weather advisors, monitoring and forecasting potential disruption to the UK due to extra terrestrial events. By this, I mean the possible disruption to the technologies and infrastructure we all now heavily depend upon, including communications systems, power networks, satellite services like GPS, and the aviation industry.
You know the situation well. You sit down with some close friends, enjoying a good conversation for a few minutes. Then someone checks their phone. You see another friend pick up hers, then another friend follows suit and, in a moment, they are all silent; transfixed by the screens in front of them.
If you were asked to draw a scientist, what would it look like? An image resembling Einstein, perhaps? Same question; but this time an engineer. Would you draw a man with a spanner? And would a computer scientist look like a guy who's keen on science fiction and junk food, working alone in a dark room?
Next time you're in your local pharmacy, take a detour to the men's shaving aisle. When you get there, scan the shelves in front of you. You'll see high-gloss packaging, lots of "Fusion" and "Turbo" and "Mach" brands. It's almost like you're in the Formula 1 pit lane, isn't it? The choice seems abundant.