Funny things that happened on my way to the Forum
This Sunday I appear on the BBC World Service’s ‘ideas’ programme The Forum. In principle I am there to discuss The Music Instinct, but it’s actually a round table discussion about the issues raised by all the guests; my fellows on this occasion are the bio-nanotechnologist Sam Stupp and the polemicist and writer P. J. O’Rourke, whose new book is the characteristically titled Don’t Vote: It Only Encourages the Bastards. I have followed Sam’s work for nigh on two decades: he designs peptides that self-assemble into nanostructures which can act as biodegradable scaffolds for tissue regeneration. It is very neat, and I relished the opportunity to see Sam again. O’Rourke embodies the gentlemanly, amusing Republican whose spine-chilling views on such things as gun laws and the Tea Party are moderated by such charm and worldliness (he is no friend of US xenophobes) that you feel churlish to take issue. I was simply happy to establish that his opposition to Big Government applies only to nations and not to his own home. He is also rather funny, as right-leaning polemicists often are when they are not swivel-eyed. In any event, the programme deserves to be better known – rarely does one get the chance to discuss ideas at such leisure in the broadcast media, even on the beloved BBC.
PS: I just got an update with a direct link to the site for this programme. It includes mugshots, but I can't help that now. Gone are the days when it didn't matter how you looked on the radio.