In his diary entries, Sir Patrick expressed frustration with the former prime minister, but he also acknowledged that this was not a unique issue for Mr Johnson. Many scientific advisers in other countries were facing similar challenges in explaining concepts to politicians. During a meeting with scientific advisers from across Europe, everyone laughed when it was revealed that one leader was struggling with exponential curves. This difficulty was not unique to Mr Johnson, as it was affecting many other countries as well.
During his testimony to the inquiry, Sir Patrick mentioned that the prime minister had given up science at a young age and struggled with certain concepts. According to diary entries from September 20, 2020, Mr Johnson even wondered if “we are licked as a species” before imposing another lockdown. These entries provide insight into the challenges faced by scientific advisers in communicating complex ideas to politicians and the difficulties leaders like Mr Johnson encountered in understanding such concepts.
Sir Patrick’s frustrations were not limited to just Mr Johnson; he noted that many scientists across the world were struggling to communicate their findings clearly to politicians who often lacked scientific literacy. In fact, during a meeting with European counterparts, everyone chuckled when it was revealed that one leader was having trouble grasping exponential curves. This difficulty wasn’t exclusive to Mr Johnson and his administration; it was an issue faced by scientists worldwide.
In conclusion, Sir Patrick’s diary entries provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by scientific advisers in communicating complex ideas to politicians and how difficult it can be for leaders like Mr Johnson to understand such concepts. His experiences highlight the need for increased education and awareness about science among political leaders and decision-makers.