‘What Scientists Read…’

Could reading Harry Potter help scientists cure the common cold?

Could reading Harry Potter help science find a cure for the common cold, or studying Jane Austen make someone a contender for a Nobel Prize for physics? New research examining the influence literature has upon the work of scientists may soon help provide answers to such questions.

Launched in May 2012, What Scientists Read is an innovative project that sets out to discover if reading certain literature might influence a scientist's career path, or even impact the research scientists undertake. As part of the project, the researchers — from the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, and the Universities of Glasgow and St Andrews — are seeking volunteers from the scientific community across Central Scotland to be interviewed about their reading habits. The research team is also encouraging scientists from across the globe to visit the project's website to share information on their favourite reading matter, and how this influences their work.

The project is keen to hear from any scientists from Central Scotland who are willing to be interviewed about their reading habits. Scientists from across the globe are also invited to feed into the research by visiting the What Scientists Read website www.whatscientistsread.com, and contributing to the discussion by answering a brief series of questions.

What Scientists Read is funded through a Scottish Crucible Project Grant. Additional funding for What Scientists Read is provided by the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum. The project is supported by the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow.

For further details visit www.whatscientistsread.com or contact Dr Sarah Dillon, University of St Andrews.