Yesterday saw the Guardian announce four new columnists with a twist – they’re all scientists. Well, sort of.
Simon Singh holds a PhD in particle physics (and is a personal hero of mine), but in his own words he is an author, journalist and TV producer. I hope Simon will forgive me if I’m underselling him, but I think he’s firmly in the “science communicator” camp, rather than a practising scientist. Not that it really matters anyway, as he kicks off the column with an article on football fans who happen to also be mathematicians.
Next up we have Chris French, who I’m afraid I’ve not heard of. He’s professor of psychology at Goldsmith’s, University of London and in charge of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit. It’s sort of like the X-Files, if Scully were always right.
Third is Andy Miah, professor of ethics and emerging technologies at the University of the West of Scotland and another new face for me. Amongst other things, he’s interested in the effect of the internet on people’s perceptions of health and disease – perhaps he has something to say about Facebook’s ability to cause cancer.
Rounding out the quartet is PZ Myers of (in the Guardian’s words) “the ever-amazing Pharyngula blog“. Though I think it might be heresy to admit, I find Pharyngula incredibly dull. Perhaps it’s just that my tongue falls out if I attempt to pronounce the name, but if I wanted to read a blog on an atheist’s battle with religion, I would – and I probably wouldn’t look at a website called ScienceBlogs.
Small rant aside, I’m looking forward to what the new columnists have to say. It seems that the Guardian is following their own Ben Goldacre’s advice: less science writers, but more science editors, and let the scientists speak for themselves.