Ways of Being Dead

John Durant

  • The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
    Longman, 332 pp, £12.95, September 1986, ISBN 0 582 44694 5

Our culture pays a high price for scientific specialisation. As individual researchers have come to know more and more about less and less, so they have increasingly distanced themselves – from one another, from interested amateurs and from the general public. This distancing has created a demand for yet more specialists – professional popularisers such as science journalists, science writers, television producers and presenters, and so forth – whose task it is to mediate between scientists and everybody else. What these mediators offer is, for the most part, second or even thirdhand reporting; and all too often this either sensationalises or (which is much worse) sanitises the work it purports to describe.

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in