Vote Johnny Mackintosh!
I love elections. This year in London we’ve seen Boris versus Ken, while in the US it’s going to be McCain versus Obama in November. But there’s another poll, happening right now, that you can all take part in – it’s called the Big Science Read.
The Big Science Read was launched at Jodrell Bank, the giant radio telescope that actually features in the second Johnny Mackintosh book. Despite being a feature of the Cheshire landscape for over fifty year, the Lovell Telescope is still the world’s third-largest fully steerable telescope in the world.
The people behind the contest have helpfully divided suggested books into fact or fiction categories. Perhaps because they couldn’t decide whether or not Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London is based on a true story, they’ve left it off their list but you can still vote for it.
I believe it’s important that everyone has some understanding of science, how it works and how to evaluate the reports we see in the media. Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science column in the Saturday Guardian is something everyone should read. With Johnny Mackintosh, I thought it important to infuse the story with as much genuine science as possible, sitting quietly in the background, although never at the expense of the actual story-telling.
My aim was that the book would play a role in inspiring younger readers to discover more about the world (and indeed the universe) around them. I hope the use of science in fiction has worked. If you think it might have done, vote now.