Did you dare give your child the three-in-one MMR vaccine? Afraid you'll get so fat you'll die before your time? Worried that Tesco/Walmart will swallow up your local store, or will we all be hit by an asteroid first? Every day, the press warns us of some new calamity that will threaten our lives. The risks of simply being alive apparently grow ever more alarming. Life has never been better yet we live in fear. Why do we work ourselves up into such a state?Because these stories are a heady mix of supposedly scientific information and journalistic hype. Our hearts fall for the 'story' and our heads believe the 'facts'. "Panicology" will help you make sense of the jungle of threats. It will explain why things are seldom as bad as they're painted. Upbeat and optimistic in its world-view yet robust and sceptical in its analysis, it will equip you to approach the scares of today - and tomorrow - without panic, but with rational levelheadedness and perhaps a measure of insouciance. "Panicology" is a feel-good book about the oh-so-desperate state we're in.
Simon and Hugh met at the age of six, united in fear of Dr Who and by a concern that a diet of tinned pears and chocolate custard must be too enjoyable to be healthy. Hugh won a scholarship to read Natural Sciences at St John's College, Cambridge. Simon didn't -- but, armed with a social sciences degree, has held proper jobs in the civil service, investment banking and at the Financial Times. Hugh is a writer and curator, and the author of a number of books on architecture and design and science, the most recent being Findings: Hidden Stories in First-Hand Accounts of Scientific Discovery. Simon's books include Interpreting the Economy and Britain in Numbers. They are married, but not to each other, and have three children, two of whom are siblings. Simon watches house prices rising in London. Hugh watches the sea level rising in Norfolk.