After a couple of years blogging about stem cells here, I decided to direct some of my writing effort toward a book on stem cells. I started this project with the publisher last summer and I am happy to report that the book should be coming out later this year some time. I just sent it off to the publisher on Tuesday.
So what is this book all about?
Part of my inspiration for writing this book was that as I looked out there (e.g. on Amazon) for books on stem cells I did not find any that really grabbed me.
My hope was to find a very specific kind of stem cell book.
I wanted to read a stem cell book that stated opinions, addressed the key issues in the field directly including controversial ones, talked about for-profits, discussed real ethical dilemmas, and challenged readers...but without going to the opposite extreme of using so much jargon and obscure verbiage as more technical stem cell books out there too often do.
It should be entertaining and easy to read, but not so simple that it was boring.
I couldn't find a stem cell book like that out there...so call me crazy, I wrote one.
Although I realize many of you already are experts on a number of levels, I suspect there will be still stuff to learn from this new book, parts will be entertaining, and parts will be controversial. I think you will find quite a bit of it surprising as well. You yourself might even be mentioned in the book. You better check that out!
I also illustrated the book mostly myself (see one above on stem cell facelifts--a hot topic also discussed a few days ago in the New York Times), but have in addition included a few illustrations by an intern in my lab, Taylor Seamount, who is a very talented scientific illustrator.
The illustrations and photos are meant to be powerful and sometimes intentionally provocative.
I intentionally used a writing style that is easy to read and sometimes humorous, but without sacrificing good science.
The end result, I hope, is a book that should appeal to a very broad audience including students, patients, doctors, researchers, and just about anyone interested in stem cells. You know, the usual crowd around here, but also hopefully many more people.
You do not need an MD or a PhD in science to understand this book, but at the same time if you have an MD or PhD I hope that you will still find the book fun and interesting. It challenges the reader with new ideas, insider information, secrets of the stem cell field, and my own opinions.
I don't oversimplify the topic of stem cells or keep my opinions to myself, which would have made it less fun to read.
I think that stem cell scientists and doctors will enjoy it, especially when I challenge dogma and say things in print that you only wish you could say, but don't for political reasons. If I'm gutsy (perhaps better make that "cheeky" or "unwise") enough to say publicly state what you think or feel about a particular stem cell topic, but don't care to risk stating publicly so be it, right?
Of course you are likely to disagree (perhaps even strongly) with some of the things in the book too. You might want to literally throw the stem cell book at me in fact.
Yeah, you may not always agree with me--heck you may think I am totally wrong at times--but that's nothing new on this blog so why should it be any different with my book, huh?
You wouldn't want to be bored, right?
I also have some suggestions for the FDA that you might find interesting. In addition, I include many links and resources that I think you will find very useful as references hopefully for years to come.
I believe you'll find this new book entertaining, educational, and thought provoking. Hopefully even provocative. Maybe you will even laugh at times. One of my goals in writing this book was to stimulate new discussions and debates on key stem cell issues amongst a wider audience.
So stay tuned for more updates on when my stem cell "insider's" book will be published and more information/teasers about its content. Of course I owe some of you blog readers, who are also in many ways my teachers on certain topics, a big "thank you" for all your help.
An earlier version of this piece was first posted on my blog.