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Tim Noakes: The Quiet Maverick

Veteran journalist and writer Daryl Ilbury unveils, layer by layer, a combustible mix of ignorance, suspicion and academic wrong-doing, played out in a highly disrupted media space, where consumers demand snappy answers to highly complex questions. It’s the story of society’s historical distrust of science, the fractious relationship between science and mainstream media, the intricacies of human nutrition, and the brutal fallout when a soft-spoken scientist with a taste for social media and a flair for challenging convention voiced his maverick opinion.

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A dissident scientist, a disrupted media …

On 5 February 2014, world-renowned scientist Tim Noakes fired off a tweet into a highly volatile media space; the fallout threatened to destroy his career. This is the untold backstory.

Veteran journalist and writer Daryl Ilbury unveils, layer by layer, a combustible mix of ignorance, suspicion and academic wrong-doing, played out in a highly disrupted media space, where consumers demand snappy answers to highly complex questions. It’s the story of society’s historical distrust of science, the fractious relationship between science and mainstream media, the intricacies of human nutrition, and the brutal fallout when a soft-spoken scientist with a taste for social media and a flair for challenging convention voiced his maverick opinion.

Featuring exclusive interviews with Noakes, as well as with people who have worked closely with him, including former Springbok coach Jake White and polar swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh, as well as award-winning journalists and fellow scientists and academics, some of whom now consider Noakes dangerous and out of control, this book promises to be as controversial as the man himself.

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What our readers are saying

Excellently written, a hard look at us as supposed rational human beings, a lot more than just Noakes, placing him in context within human society as it is today.

Jackie Jones

It's the story of how an internationally renowned grade A1 scientist was shunned by his peers and then hung out to dry by incompetent and venomous pygmies sheltering under the umbrella of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa. And how he turned the process round on the HPCSA at his farcical disciplinary hearing and ultimately triumphed.

Peter Surtees

Great book, well written in an engaging style. The author takes you on a journey that contrasts the rapidly changing media environment to the slowly changing scientific environment, hence explaining how we got to be here. The story only increases my admiration for Prof Tim Noakes

Matt Alington

About Daryl Ilbury

Daryl Ilbury's writing explores the complex and controversial interface of science, the media & human behaviour. He draws on over 20 years’ experience as an award-winning broadcaster and writer, journalist, and author; as well as a degree in clinical psychology, a postgraduate HDE in clinical assessment and counselling, and a master’s degree in science journalism from City, University of London.

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