The scientific method is designed to be objective. So what happens when you take science personally? Ashley Hay talks to author James Bradley (The Silent Invasion), neurosurgeon Henry Marsh (Do No Harm), author Bianca Nogrady (The End: The Human Experience of Death) and The Guardian Australia environment reporter Michael Slezak. They discuss how journalists can report dispassionately on the disturbing effects of climate change, how surgeons bear the burden of human error and how novelists can translate science for wider audiences. 

Henry Marsh (International)

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Henry Marsh is a writer and one of Britain’s foremost neurosurgeons. He is the author of Admissions and Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery, which offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity. It was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and won the PEN Ackerley Prize, the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature and was shortlisted for awards including the Costa Biography Award and Guardian First Book Award.

Marsh became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was then appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London, where he worked for thirty years. Since retiring from full-time work, he has continued to operate and lecture in Nepal, Albania and Ukraine. He has been the subject of two award-winning documentary films, Your Life in Their Hands and The English Surgeon. He was made a CBE in 2010.

James Bradley (Australian)

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James Bradley is an award-winning writer and critic. His novels include Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist and Clade, all of which have won or been shortlisted for major Australian and international literary awards. He is also the author of a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus and a young adult novel, The Silent Invasion.

Bianca Nogrady (Australian)

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Bianca is a freelance science journalist, broadcaster and author, who is yet to meet a piece of research she doesn’t find fascinating. In more than a decade of freelance reporting, she has written for publications and websites including Nature, Australian Geographic, The Guardian Australia, Medicine Today, BBC Future, ABC Science, and ABC Health and Wellbeing. She is also author of The End: The Human Experience Of Death, editor of the 2015 Best Australian Science Writing, and co-author of The Sixth Wave: How To Succeed In A Resource-Limited World.

Michael Slezak (Australian)

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Michael Slezak is the Environment reporter at The Guardian Australia. Before working at The Guardian, Michael wrote about science and its effect on the world for New Scientist. Prior to that, he was s a full-time medical journalist and freelanced for publications around the world.

Ashley Hay (Australian)

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Ashley Hay's latest novel is A Hundred Small Lessons. Her earlier work has won accolades in Australia and abroad, most recently the 2016 Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing. She has been longlisted for awards including the Miles Franklin and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and shortlisted for awards including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Kibble. Her previous novel, The Railwayman's Wife, received the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies' Colin Roderick Award, and People's Choice at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. It was published in the UK, the US and in translation.