Michael Brooks (science writer)

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Michael Edward Brooks
Born (1970-05-07) May 7, 1970 (age 45)
Nationality English
Occupation Science writer
Known for Explaining difficult scientific concepts to laymen in his books

Michael Edward Brooks (born 7 May 1970) is an English science writer, noted for explaining complex scientific research and findings to the general population.


Brooks holds a PhD in Quantum Physics from the University of Sussex.[1][2] He was previously an editor for New Scientist magazine,[3] and currently works as a consultant for that magazine. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Times Higher Education Supplement, and Playboy.[1] His first novel, Entanglement, was published in 2007. His first non-fiction book, an exploration of scientific anomalies entitled 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, was published in 2009.[4][5] The book expands an article that Brooks wrote for New Scientist.[6]

Brooks' next book, The Big Questions: Physics, was released in February 2010. It contains twenty 3,000-word essays addressing the most fundamental and frequently asked questions about science.[7]

Brooks appeared as a regular guest on George Lamb's BBC Radio 6 Music show. His slot on the show, entitled Weird Science, features weird and wonderful stories from the world of science.[8]

Science Party[edit]

Science Party
Spokesperson Michael Brooks,
Sumit Paul-Choudhury
Founded April 20, 2010 (2010-04-20)
Politics of United Kingdom
Political parties

The Science Party is a UK political party that was launched on April 20, 2010[9] by Brooks and Sumit Paul-Choudhury, an editor of New Scientist.[10]

A key goal in the Science Party manifesto is ensuring "that science, mathematics and engineering have sufficient funding, skills and political priority".

The Science Party challenged MP David Tredinnick in his constituency of Bosworth in the East Midlands,[11] in the 2010 UK general election on a pro-scientific manifesto. Tredinnick is a supporter of alternative medicine and critical of science.

It was revealed in the 2009 United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal that Tredinnick claimed £700 in his MP expenses for astrology software and training, which he repaid following media publicity. Tredinnick also led 70 MPs in a motion to ignore a House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report recommending the NHS to cease funding homeopathic treatments.[12]

In criticising Tredinnick, Brooks also points to the cash-for-questions affair, where Tredinnick accepted a £1,000 payment from an under cover reporter for what was described as a consultancy service but which essentially involved raising a question before parliament, an act that has been described as accepting a bribe for interference in parliamentary proceedings. This scandal led to Tredinnick and one other MP being suspended from Parliament. Brooks also criticises Tredinnick for his MP's expense claim of £125 for attending a course on "intimate relationships".

Tredinnick defended his views on using astrology for medicine by saying "Systems of healthcare in India and China have linked medicine and astronomy for centuries. Are we really just dismissing their views?".[13]

Brooks describes Tredinnick as "a champion of pseudo-science and a hindrance to rational governance".

Brooks received 197 votes in the election, 0.4% of the votes cast, more than he expected, but certainly not enough to unseat Tredinnick.[14]

Selected works[edit]


  • Quantum Computing and Communications, edited by Brooks (Springer Verlag, 1999)
  • Entanglement (2007)
  • 13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The most baffling scientific mysteries of our time (Profile Books, 2008); US, Doubleday, 2008
  • Physics (Quercus Books, The Big Questions, 2010)
  • Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science (Profile, 2011)[15]
  • Can We Travel Through Time?: The 20 big questions of physics (Quercus, 2012)

Selected articles[edit]

  • "In Place of God: Can Secular Science ever oust Religious Belief – and should it even try?", New Scientist, 20 November 2006[16]
  • "To Make the Most of Wind Power, Go Fly a Kite", New Scientist, 14 May 2008[17]
  • "Smallest Planet weighs just Three Earths", New Scientist, 2 June 2008[18]


  1. ^ a b "author and journalist - Home". Michael Brooks. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  2. ^ "About the author - Free Radicals - The Secret Anarchy of Science". Freeradicalsbook.com. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  3. ^ "TIBOR JONES - Irresistible Culture in Impossible Times A Literary Management CompanyTIBOR JONES - Irresistible Culture in Impossible Times A Literary Management Company". tiborjones.com. 
  4. ^ "author and journalist - Home". Michael Brooks. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  5. ^ "13 Things That Don't Make Sense by Michael Brooks - Book - eBook". Random House. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Science news and science jobs from New Scientist - New Scientist". Space.newscientist.com. 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  7. ^ "The Big Questions: Physics: Michael Brooks: 9781849161466: Amazon.com: Books". Amazon.com. 2010-02-04. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 6 Music - George Lamb". Bbc.co.uk. 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  9. ^ Highfield, Roger (April 20, 2010). "Tories and Lib Dems set out science policies". New Scientist. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ Highfield, Roger (27 April 2010). "General Election 2010: why we need the Science Party". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Introducing the Science Party - Research Blogs". Exquisitelife.researchresearch.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  12. ^ UK election: Round one to the Science Party New Scientist blog, 29 April 2010, retrieved 08/05/2010.
  13. ^ Brooks, Michael (March 30, 2010). "Taking a stand for science". The Guardian. Retrieved April 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ UK election: The Science Party's democracy experiment, Sumit Paul-Choudhury, The S Word blog, New Scientist, 7 May 2010, retrieved 08/05/2010.
  15. ^ "Book review by Carolyn Haley: Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science". Nyjournalofbooks.com. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  16. ^ "In Place of God: Can Secular Science ever oust Religious Belief – and should it even try?". Templeton-cambridge.org. November 20, 2006. Archived from the original on August 21, 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  17. ^ "Science news and science jobs from New Scientist - New Scientist". Environment.newscientist.com. 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  18. ^ "Smallest Planet weighs just Three Earths". New Scientist. 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 

External links[edit]