" Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact". - Thomas Huxley
Tom Standage is the business editor of The Economist. He started his career as the Science and Technology Editor at the Guardian, and has written several books which merge popular science and history including The Victorian Internet, The Neptune File, The Mechanical Turk. and A History of the World in 6 Glasses in which he explores a notion that six drinks in history - beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola - could be seen as technological catalysts in advancing culture. He says of his books "I think the right attitude to new technologies is to regard them with historically-informed scepticism. My approach is intended as a sort of antidote to the scourge of mindless product stories: when something new comes along, I like to point out that it isn't new at all. This isn't quite as gratuitous as it sounds; it is quite often possible to learn useful lessons from history, particularly the history of technology"
Tom's latest book is An Edible History of Humanity, published in paperback by Atlantic in early March 2010. Tom has been our guest on Little Atoms twice.
Interview one first broadcast on 22nd June 2007.
Interview two first broadcast on 5th March 2010.