View from the fence

Social, environmental and economic issues surrounding GM foods, and the latest news


6 Comments

Book club: lobbying through fiction

Novels about scientists can give an insight into a life in science. But if the insight is unrealistic, is there potential for damage? Continue reading

Advertisements


1 Comment

Book club: World Book Day

This is one of the book club questions for my novel A Column on Smoke. Please add your thoughts in the comment section below – I will be very interested to read them.

As it’s World Book Day, it seemed appropriate to do another book club post, the first for a while. I want to consider the question of whether it is normal/reasonable for Sally to be spending so much time thinking about Paul at the start of the book. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Book Club: Which characters do you have sympathy for?

This is one of the book club questions for my novel A Column on Smoke. Please add your thoughts in the comment section below – I will be very interested to read them.

All of them! Some to a much greater extent though.

I can identify with Sally’s challenges pretty much throughout. I can understand how pressure from her colleagues would prevent her from doing what she knows to be right, even though high moral values are very important to her. Her treatment of Mel and Darren is where my sympathy wanes. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Book Club: Why did you decide to write a novel?

This is one of the book club questions for my novel A Column on Smoke. Please add your thoughts in the comment section below – I will be very interested to read them.

I can’t quite remember, and looking back I’m almost surprised that I was brave enough to give it a go. When I was at junior school my career ambition was to be an author, but my English lessons in the first few years of secondary school turned me off reading and therefore writing. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Book Club: Do you portray life as a scientist accurately?

This is one of the book club questions for my novel A Column on Smoke. Please add your thoughts in the comment section below – I will be very interested to read them.

Yes, I think so. I wanted it to be as accurate as possible, with lots of different characters who you encounter in the lab. I wanted to portray the pressures which scientists experience, particularly the pressure to publish, and explore how this can affect their lives and their judgements.

The blurring of personal and professional life I think is also very common for scientists. I suspect many people will also identify with the power hierarchies as students, research scientists, professors and technicians all interact.

I would be very interested to hear which bits people felt did or didn’t match well with their experiences in the lab. What characterises life in the lab for you?