Hard to believe but, in the last 35 years, I have written or edited a total of 49 books; about half of them on alternative medicine and the rest on various subjects related to clinical medicine and research. Each time a new one comes out, I am excited, of course, but this one is special:
- I have not written a book for several years.
- I have worked on it much longer than on any book before.
- Never before have I written a book with is so much about myself.
- None of my previous book covered material that is as ‘sensitive’ as this one.
I started on this book shortly after TRICK OR TREATMENT had been published. Its initial working title was ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: THE INSIDE STORY. My aim was to focus on the extraordinary things which had happened during my time in Exeter, to shed some light on the often not so quaint life in academia, and to show how bizarre the world of alternative medicine truly is. But several people who know about these things and who had glanced at the first draft chapters strongly advised me to radically change this concept. They told me that such a book could only work as a personal memoire.
Yet I was most reluctant to write about myself; I wanted to write about science, research as well as the obstacles which some people manage to put in their way. So, after much discussion and contemplation, I compromised and added the initial chapters which told the reader about my background and my work prior to the Exeter appointment. This brought in subjects like my research on ‘Nazi-medicine’ (which, I believe, is more important than that on alternative medicine) that seemed almost entirely unrelated to alternative medicine, and the whole thing began to look a bit disjointed, in my view. However, my advisers felt this was a step in the right direction and argued that my compromise was not enough; they wanted more about me as a person, my motivations, my background etc. Eventually I (partly) gave in and provided a bit more of what they seemed to want.
But I am clearly not a novelist, most of what I have ever written is medical stuff; my style is too much that of a scientist – dry and boring. In other words, my book seemed to be going nowhere. Just when, after years of hard work, I was about to throw it all in the bin, help came from a totally unexpected corner.
Louise Lubetkin (even today, I have never met her in person) had contributed several posts as ‘guest editor’ to this blog, and I very much liked her way with words. When she offered to have a look at my book, I was thrilled. It is largely thanks to her that my ‘memoire’ ever saw the light of day. She helped enormously with making it readable and with joining up the seemingly separate episodes describes in my book.
Finding a fitting title was far from easy. Nothing seemed to encapsulate its contents, and ‘A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND’, the title I eventually chose, is a bit of a compromise; the subtitle does describe it much better, I think: A MEMOIR OF SEARCHING FOR TRUTH AND FINDING TROUBLE.
Now that the book is about to be published, I am anxious as never before on similar occasions. I do, of course, not think for a minute that it will be anything near to a best-seller, but I want people with an interest in alternative medicine, academia or science to read it (get it from a library to save money) and foremost I want them to understand why I wrote it. For me, this is neither about settling scores nor about self-promotion, it is about telling a story which is important in more than one way.
This is the one for which we have all been waiting!
Every best wish, and may the wu be with you!
Is there a Kindle version?
OK. It’ll have to be a real book.
Real books provide tangible learning; e-books provide only virtual learning 🙂
That’s a real pity, because I don’t read books on paper anymore. Main reason: too much space in my apartment is already taken up by books. There’s simply no point in adding more of them. I’d be quite grateful if you and/or your publisher would reconsider. If there’s no way in producing a Kindle version of the English text, does the German translation come with a Kindle option?
I will inquire
Good. Very good. A lot of people waited for something like this I guess.
Will there be a german translation? Or do you at least have a german publisher to avoid the hassle of getting it over here?
yes the German edition is entitled NAZIS, NADELN UND INTRIGEN, it will come out in 1-2 moths
It’s now on my Amazon wish list to remind me to order it when it becomes available in the US. Best of luck with this endeavor.
Of course it is a book I want to read. But I will not buy it from Amazon. If they would only stick to selling books, that would be fine. But cancer quackery is on their product line too. See for instance: https://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/cancer-quackery-still-available-from-amazon/
luckily it will be for sale everywhere [I hope] next week – AND IT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE THROUGH LIBRARIES, SO THAT YOU DO NOT PAY ANYONE AT ALL!!!
will there be public signings or lectures of the new book?
none planned so far
I enjoyed Trick and treatment and I would like to have your new book in spanish. Could be?