A journey of science and discovery with Professor Robert Winston

Primary Times talks to world-renowned scientist Professor Robert Winston about his exciting new children’s book ‘The Story of Science’.

Known for his pioneering and remarkable work in the field of science and as an engaging television presenter and writer, Professor Lord Robert Winston’s newest book takes a look at some of humanity’s greatest discoveries and the fascinating stories behind them.

With the ability to captivate all ages, ‘The Story of Science’ is aimed at children aged 7-9, focusing on inspiring the next generation of young minds. Readers can explore science and technology through history and the innovative inventions, discoveries and concepts that have shaped the world around us. As a scientific journey with captivating illustrations and imagery throughout, we asked Professor Robert Winston a few questions about the book to find out more…

When did your curiosity about the world of science begin?
At around the age of three. Like most children, I was always interested to find out how things work, what’s inside the body for example and what’s up there in the sky. It’s a natural human wish to want to understand these things better.

What do you most enjoy about writing books for young readers?
Writing for primary school children makes you look at things with a much greater clarity about what really is important, or interesting, or of value.

Which section of ‘The Story of Science’ do you think children find the most exciting?
I test these things out beforehand by visiting schools and speaking with my own grandchildren as well. You can’t ever really predict what will interest children the most. Sometimes it’s the experiments or the things that are really surprising or dangerous!

What’s your personal favourite topic or discovery discussed in this book?
The history of navigation and exploration is extraordinary. Space travel and satellites have made a massive difference to our understanding of the universe. I’ve also tried to help young people understand the ethical and really important human issues that are raised by science and technology and address that message in this book.

Is ‘The Story of Science’ a book that children and families can enjoy reading together?
Yes, exactly, I certainly wrote it with this in mind. I think it’s a book that adults can read with their kids and the kids can then go off and look at it further. I do also hope that the book will be sufficiently intriguing for them to refer back to later on.

Do you think it’s important to nurture this interest in science and technology in the younger generation today?
It’s essential. Scientific developments and technology dominate our lives. To keep up, we have to learn and I think children do that. Encouraging children to learn about science can help them to actually understand what’s going on and then make wiser life decisions in future. Hopefully books like this might include a bit of wisdom, I think that’s important.

Are there any future books in the works currently, or do you have any new ideas in the pipeline to look out for?
I do have some ideas in my mind but I won’t say too much just yet. If I were to do another book, I would maybe aim for the GCSE age range. There’s no shortage of ideas, or topics, because science is expanding all the time! Anything which stimulates enquiry is valuable.

‘The Story of Science’ by Professor Robert Winston and illustrated by Caitlin Keegan is out now, published by DK, as part of Penguin Random House.

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