I’m a bit late with this, but I’m proud to feature in Geek Calendar, a celebration of British geekery that has already raised £10,000 in support of a most worthy cause: libel reform. For those who aren’t aware of the problem, English libel laws are basically arcane strictures which ensure that people can be very easily sued for doing little more than speaking critically, even if what they speak is the truth. It prevents freedom of expression, which is bad news for science, journalism and skepticism.
To raise awareness and money, three uber-geeks – Alice Bell, Louise Crane and Mun-Keat Looi – created Geek Calendar. It’s a collection of really very good photos of some British uber-geeks including Ben Goldacre, Brian Cox, Simon Singh, Petra Boynton, Imran Khan, Evan Harris, Adam Rutherford, and others. From the press release:
“The GEEK CALENDAR showcases 20 of the UK’s geek heroes in ways you’ve never seen before. It features interesting photos of intriguing people, reminding us of the human capacity for ideas, achievement and creativity. Some geeks are on TV, some are not, some are scientists, some are artists. All are nerds to the core.”
In my case, the way you’ve never seen me before is “perched at the end of a park bench”. Playing off the idea that today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper, I met up with ace journos Mark Henderson, Roger Highfield, Hannah Devlin and Nigel Hawkes to be photographed eating chips out of cones made from our respective publications. Mine was initially made from a print out of my blog, but that idea was soon abandoned in favour of more visual gags on the blogger/journo divide/meld.
I’m very pleased with the final photo. I’m particularly amused at what shall henceforth be known as the Paywall Pigeon, swooping down to despoil Mark Henderson’s head…
There are also many great outtakes that didn’t make the final cut which I’ve been allowed to put up here: