An interview for the website popularscience.co.uk, May 2007
Our four-way interviews give a quick insight into the current thinking of a popular science author.
Len Fisher is the author of Weighing the Soul and How to Dunk a Doughnut.
Because I’m a scientist! More importantly, because I believe that science should be a part of our culture, alongside literature, philosophy, art and religion as a way of understanding the world and how it works. You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy a good book, or an artist to appreciate a great picture. You don’t have to be a scientist to appreciate the picture that science gives of the world, either. That is what my books are about.
Why this book?
Weighing the Soul tells the stories of scientists who challenged the “common sense” of their time – sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. One of its messages is that it is very difficult to distinguish the brilliant from the bizarre, except in hindsight. A second message is that a great many advances in science have come from scientists observing and pondering on everyday things, from burning the mouth on a hot apple pie to wondering why the sky is so dark between the stars.
That depends on which of my ideas my agent manages to sell!
What’s exciting you at the moment?
An idea for writing a set of books that illuminate the science of everyday life from different angles, in the manner of a set of spotlights illuminating an actor on the stage.