Peter Tallack has worked as an editor on Nature and a book publisher at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. He currently runs the Science Factory, a literary agency specializing in popular science.
Science is important because it’s an intrinsic part of culture that gives meaning to people’s lives. Everyone is, at root, interested in where they came from and where they are going - and science has more to say about these questions (or, rather, a better track record of saying something meaningful about these questions) than any other mode of enquiry. It is, to boot, stimulating, inclusive and fun: science itself is constantly evolving in response to the latest findings; has ramifications for every aspect of the world around us; and is always throwing up social issues that we can all enjoy thinking about and debating. It’s like Mark Twain said: ‘There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.’