Heroes of science
Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture given by Dr Roger Highfield
Dr Roger Highfield is the Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group.
Scientists love them. Historians of science can't stand them. The view that science rests on the shoulders of heroes and on them alone cannot be defended. Nonetheless, the public are moved and inspired by the stories of astronauts who've risked their lives, mathematicians who crack enemy codes or laboratory scientists who make life-saving medical discoveries. Science still needs their illuminating stories to engage with the public, even if that does distort the depiction of the way real science is done. Not only should we reinstate the heroes of science, we need other kinds too - heroes that are not even made of flesh and blood.
Roger Highfield was born in Wales, raised in north London and became the first person to bounce a neutron off a soap bubble. He was the Science Editor of The Daily Telegraph for two decades and the Editor of New Scientist between 2008 and 2011. Today, he is the Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group. Roger has written seven books and had thousands of articles published in newspapers and magazines.
The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture is given on a subject relating to the social function of science, the philosophy of science or the history of science.