Scientists, politicians, and hairdressers (choose one).

There was a plot in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books about a colony ship being sent to the stars from an about-to-be-destroyed world, but the whole mission was a practical joke to rid the planet of such supposed unwanted ne’er-do-wells as hairdressers and estate agents.

Oddly enough, I can’t remember politicians being on that list of useless gits, or council bureaucrats?

If I was the sort of person who spent years writing non-fiction books rather than pulpy scifi space operas, I think I might have a tome in me about how almost everything good in our lives has come from the advancement of science, often in the face of politicians, politics, government policies, pettifogging rules, local and national bureaucracies, and all their blooming antics.

The reason we are all able to eat enough, live in nice warm houses, don’t have mortality rates of 7/10 children dying before the age of 12, and are entertained by dancing moggies on our futuristic pocket supercomputers is pretty much all down to the fruits of science.

The recent vaccine race, by way of illustration, is nothing short of miraculous.

COVID-19 was genetically sequenced within the first month of the pandemic, that data then shared on the Internet, and many potential vaccines created in record time – often on the back of novel biotechnology solutions, and modelled using the latest tech in artificial intelligence.

To go from outbreak to cure inside a year is nothing short of mind-blowing.

And now that the DeepMind AlphaFold A.I. has just cracked protein folding modelling, we can expect to have a whole slew of rapid medical advances in diseases previously considered incurable. At least, all sicknesses that occur because of protein folding errors, which includes everything from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s disease, and many cancers, too.

Artificial intelligence and its swift progress are about to usher in a new industrial revolution that will change much for the better. And, as always, science-fiction stories on page and screen shall point the way to The Shape of Things to Come, whether by cautionary tales of dystopia, or the most optimistic predictions of utopian solarpunk. Carrot and stick.

Now, get out there and Christmas shop your local small businesses for victory, before rolling up your sleeves for a little injection of high science and the glorious amazing future into your bloodstream.

Scientists, politicians, and hairdressers (choose one).
Scientists, politicians, and hairdressers (choose one).


I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.