Science is just one way of looking at life. As a neuroscientist working at the forefront of medical research, it is Ruth McKernan's way. For a while, it was her father Billy's too; science was a language they shared. When Billy succumbed to a mystery illness and slipped from consciousness into coma, Ruth watched his life ebb away with a mixture of love and terror. She struggled for control by using her scientific knowledge to analyse and understand his medical condition. Billy had been a demanding father, the postman's son who became a self-made success - but it took his collapse for Ruth to realize just how intense her feelings were for him. Now, she tells the story of her father's last year as a collection of cutting-edge scientific themes - memory, consciousness, microbes, stem cells - like pearls strung together on the thread of her father's life. The result is an inspired blending of personal emotion, love and grief, with a crystal-clear scientific explanation of the way our brains and bodies work in sickness and in health.
Shortlisted for BT Mind Awards Book of the Year 2007.
Ruth McKernan is a Vice President of Drug Discovery for a multinational pharmaceutical company and a visiting professor at London's Institute of Psychiatry.She is an internationally recognized neuroscientist whose talent for making complex science interesting, entertaining and understandable earned her the Glaxo/ABSW Science Writers' Award for her articles in the Independent. Ruth lives with her husband and two children near Canterbury in Kent.