The secret anarchy of science

Dr Michael Brooks

Thursday, November 17 2011 at 8:00PM

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139 High Street
East Sussex

Dr Michael Brooks

What's the talk about?

The public view of the scientist is of a cool, logical and level-headed individual. As Dr Michael Brooks explains, the truth is often very different. Many of our most successful scientists have more in common with libertines than librarians. In this talk, Michael explores some of the greatest breakthroughs in science and reveals the extreme lengths some scientists have gone to in order to make their theories public. Falsification, fabrication and plagiarism hit the headlines but less obvious misconduct is so common it has been dubbed "normal misbehaviour". Sometimes fraud, suppression of evidence and unethical and even reckless behaviour is necessary to bring the best and most brilliant discoveries to the world's attention.

Dr Michael Brooks holds a PhD in quantum physics and is a consultant for New Scientist magazine. He has also written for The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Times Higher Education Supplement, and Playboy. 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. He has lectured at New York University, The American Museum of Natural History and Cambridge University.

As well as contributing to traditional outlets for science, such as BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and Material World, Michael appeared in a regular live slot on George Lamb's BBC Radio 6 Music show entitled Weird Science which featured unusual stories from the world of science. He stood as a candidate in the 2010 General Election for the seat of Bosworth against incumbent Conservative MP David Tredinnick, who Brooks described as "a champion of pseudo-science and a hindrance to rational governance".

For television, he has appeared in a Channel Four documentary on Time Travel (which he co-scripted) and discussed alien invasions on More 4 News. He is a regular speaker and debate chair at the Brighton Science Festival.

 Michael's website is