The idea came from occasional blogger Dave Watts, who wrote
I was reading the Geek Manifesto and I thought “every one of our MPs should be reading this” then I thought, in the spirit of the book, “OK, lets make it happen” so …
What I want you to do is pledge to buy one copy of the book.
Once we have 650 pledges we can buy the books, then I will find a way of delivering them to the House of Commons.
Because Mark’s publishers agreed to match every pledge, the target was reached when the 325th person pledged to buy the book last Thursday.
I’m proud to have been a small part of this. I have sent my pledged copy to Barbara Keeley MP (of Worsley and Eccles South, where I have friends and family). As I wrote in a short email to Barbara yesterday, I do hope that she reads, enjoys and values the book. I also emailed my own MP, Helen Jones (who, incidentally, will be receiving a copy from @penwing).
In case you’re not already familiar with it, I think this short review in the Independent sums it up better than I can. It concludes:
“The Geek Manifesto should be required reading for all those who question the value and importance of science.”
And if you already appreciate the value and importance of science, you should still find the book informative and interesting, maybe even inspiring. I think the pledge itself is a good example of the sort of grassroots campaigning that ‘geeks’ can be so good at. I also hope it will help to highlight the importance of science and scientific thinking in politics.
MPs up and down the country will be receiving similar emails. Some of these are far more detailed than mine and ask for a response. For example, Chris Chambers published an open letter to Jenny Willott MP here, where he asked her to outline her views on a number of issues.
Duncan Hull published his open letter to David Rutley MP here.
Dave Watts, as well as encouraging pledgers like myself to write to MPs, has also put together a letter which will be included with those books pledged by the publisher.
Hundreds of voters really want you to read this book!
We certainly do. As the book’s blurb quite rightly points out, we live in a country where
Only one of our 650 MPs is a scientist.
The government sacked its drugs adviser for putting science above public opinion.
The media whipped up a groundless vaccine scare that threatens children’s lives – and then honoured one of the journalists behind it with a coveted prize.
A writer can be forced into court for telling the scientific truth.
The NHS spends taxpayers’ money on sugar pills it knows won’t work.
A mother was convicted of murdering her children because the ‘experts’ couldn’t do maths.
Isn’t it time we took action?
In the last week, we’ve had the media still whipping up that vaccine scare that is still putting lives at risk. And just yesterday, Peter Hain MP was proudly singing the praises of those ludicrous sugar pills.
It is high time we took action. I hope our MPs are listening and reading.