She had, she told me, persuaded 80 or so scientists from the West Midlands to write a few hundred words in response to the question “what makes you optimistic?” Jenny Uglow (the historian who wrote the brilliant story of the Lunar Society: The Lunar Men) had agreed to write the foreword.
At the time I thought oh yeh…I was very wrong to doubt Kate, even for a moment. I’m now working a little with her and she’s one of the most focused and determined people I know. She has set up a non profit publishing arm, is launching the book at the British Science Festival in Birmingham next month and the collection has become a brilliant reality.
“The New Optimists is the most exhilarating of books. It looks to the future, not through rose-tinted glasses, but with a clear vision, aware of difficulties and challenges yet convinced that research and experiment can help the human race to overcome them. It seems entirely right that scientists should step forth and speak out in this way, on the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Society. Right too that the 2010 meeting of the British Science Association should be held in Birmingham, a place that has always been a town of forges and anvils, of making and invention, a crucible of ideas.”