Friday, 23 March 2012

Newspapers and science

Among the mystery guests in our bodies
covered in the article
I've got a piece I wrote on a science subject in one of the national newspapers on Sunday. It might be a little surprising to learn that it's in the Mail on Sunday.

I'll be honest, the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday aren't the newspapers that spring to mind immediately when it comes to science. The Mail has a reputation for having a constant programme of announcing that different foods and drinks either cause or prevent cancer (or both). But I have to say that with newspapers, the reality is often quite different from the caricature.

I'm reminded of many moons ago when I attended the Microsoft Windows 95 launch. (As an aside, I got the best giveaway I've ever had a product launch - a Windows 95 shoulder bag that I'm still using today.) It was at a venue in Leicester Square and the audience were all sitting round tables for a meal before the event proper. I was sitting next to the Sun's business editor. We all, I suspect, have an image of people who work for a red top like the Sun. Brash, Jack-the-lad types. Kelvin Mackenzie and Piers Morgan clones. In fact, said business editor was urbane, clever and personable. And rather shy.

Similarly, my experience with the Mail on Sunday has been very positive. They ran a superb review of my Inflight Science written by Alain de Botton last year - and this piece I've just done for them has been a delight to write. What's more, there was no attempt to dumb it down - it fact they asked me to put more science in it than my first draft had.

So if you want to see what I'd modestly have to say is a rather interesting piece about the various invaders in our body that help us rather than cause us problems (a non-trivial number of them when you consider we have ten times as many non-human cells in our bodies than we have human cells), take a look at the Mail on Sunday this weekend (25 March 2012).

Image from Wikipedia

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