A bold exposé of science's mavericks
For more than a century, science has cultivated a sober public image for itself. But as bestselling author Michael Brooks explains, the truth is very different: many of our most successful scientists have more in common with libertines than librarians.
This thrilling exploration of some of the greatest breakthroughs in science reveals the extreme lengths some scientists go to in order to make their theories public. Fraud, suppressing evidence and unethical or reckless PR games are sometimes necessary to bring the best and most brilliant discoveries to the world's attention. Inspiration can come from the most unorthodox of places, and Brooks introduces us to Nobel laureates who get their ideas through drugs, dreams and hallucinations. Science is a highly competitive and ruthless discipline, and only its most determined and passionate practitioners make headlines - and history. To succeed, knowledge must be pursued by any means: in science, anything goes.
'Brooks is an exemplary science writer' William Leith, Daily Telegraph
Michael Brooks is the author of the bestselling non-fiction title 13 Things That Don't Make Sense . He holds a PhD in quantum physics, is a consultant at New Scientist and writes a weekly column for the New Statesman
'Brooks' take on science is not just ingenious, it's also hilarious', George Lamb
'Entertaining ... engagingly written ...a worthwhile read for budding explorers of new worlds', Independent
'Brooks is an exemplary science writer', William Leith, Daily Telegraph
'Tightly plotted tales of rebellion, drug use and Machiavellian intrigue in the pursuit of enlightenment', We Love This Book
'A salutary reminder that scientists are as human and fallible as anyone else', Steve Jones, Daily Telegraph
'Fun to read. Brooks ... capers through the exploits of scores of brilliant and often ruthless rogues - some living, many long dead - who have won Nobel prizes or otherwise pushed science forward. Some of its biggest names turn out to be the dirtiest players', Financial Times
'Fascinating reading ... his wide reading and fluent, engaging style lends a punchiness to his arguments', Financial Times
'An exuberant tour through the world of scientists behaving badly', New York Times
'A wake-up call to those who impose stultifying 'management' strategies on academics ... excellent stuff', THES