The power of brands in Western culture is an important and interesting issue. Such a shame, then to see a completely rubbish article on the topic on the magazine arm of the BBC news website. This piece, and the mind-numbing comments from the mostly-brain-dead which follow it, typify all that is bad about modern web journalism. Am I being fair, or just grumpy?
Earlier on today I had the privelige of meeting Dr Benjamin Lewin, one of the heroes of modern science. Ben founded the scientific journal Cell back in 1974, and it went on to become one of the top three life science journals (along with Nature and Science). Cell was well timed, and rode the wave of the molecular biology revolution. As editor, Lewin became one of the most powerful people in this expanding field. He also authored the influential textbook 'Genes', which is now in its eighth edition, and developed the sister journals Immunity and Neuron. He sold Cell to Elsevier in 1999, presumably for a reasonable sum. After developing a passion for wine, now he's doing his MW, and despite the misgivings he expressed about whether he'll pass or not, I reckon he'll sail through. I'm also flattered that someone of his reputation should have read my book on Wine Science.