Over the weekend I tried to catch up with some of the talks from the Transit of Venus Forum, which can be found here. It was good to see that there was time for lots of questions from the audience which provoked further discussion. During one of the discussions Professor Sir Peter Gluckman recommended that everyone should read the book The Geek Manifesto. After downloading it last night from Amazon, I agree.
The Geek Manifesto starts by outlining how, when the British Chiropractic Association took science writer Simon Singh to court over his suggestion that many chirporactic treatments were “bogus”, it become a rallying point for those who support science and are appalled by the level of pseudoscience in various aspects of life. Simon Singh eventually won his case, but since then “Geeks” have been making their presence known, and peddlers of pseudoscience are now having second thoughts about engaging with this potentially powerful group.
In the same way that twenty years ago parts of the gay and lesbian community took back the term “queer” and used it to rally against discrimination, Mark Henderson points out that the term “geek” does not need to be a negative one. Rather, “geeks” of the world need to work together to combat pseudoscience, political rhetoric and dangerous quackery, and demand more rational, scientific thinking and support of science.
So far I’ve only read the first couple of chapters and flicked through the rest. It is an easy and enthralling read. I only stopped reading it last night because I needed to get some sleep. And I’ll be picking it up as soon as I can tonight. Definitely worth reading.