During his testimony to the inquiry, Sir Patrick revealed that the former prime minister struggled with certain scientific concepts and even questioned whether humanity is capable of overcoming the pandemic. These challenges were not unique to Mr Johnson as many other countries faced similar difficulties in explaining complex ideas to politicians. In fact, Sir Patrick recounted a meeting he had with scientific advisers from across Europe, during which everyone laughed when it was revealed that one leader was struggling with exponential curves. This difficulty was affecting many other countries as well.
In his diary entries, Sir Patrick expressed frustration with the former prime minister’s lack of understanding of science, but also acknowledged that this was not an isolated issue. Many scientific advisers in other countries were facing similar challenges in communicating complex concepts to politicians. Sir Patrick’s meeting with European scientists highlights the universal struggle faced by scientists trying to explain science to those who may not have a strong foundation in the subject.
The difficulty faced by Mr Johnson and other leaders like him underscores the importance of clear communication between scientists and policymakers. It is essential for leaders to understand the science behind decisions they make, especially during times of crisis like a pandemic. The diary entries of Sir Patrick provide valuable insights into the challenges faced by scientific advisers in communicating complex ideas to politicians and underscore the need for effective communication channels between scientists and policymakers.