Mythology, medicine and the mysterious in Frilsham author's lockdown collection
Lockdown proved a productive time for scientist Michael Wilson MRSC, MSc, PhD, FRCPath, DSc, Emeritus professor of microbiology UCL.
Having already written 12 scientific books, mainly on microbiology and infectious diseases and published more than 300 scientific papers, he has recently published three books – the only ones he’s ever written for the general public.
Subject-wise they cover the tale of a 4,000-year-old genius, an explanation of infectious diseases and the third book in his ‘lockdown collection’ is his first attempt at fiction – a collection of 18 short stories. Feel that moon, sister, feel that moon, Mike says “explores love, loss, betrayal, evil, the unexpected, the sinister and the miraculous”.
Born in South Shields, the 74-year-old microbiologist has lived in Frilsham for the past 25 years. He has worked in Ireland, Spain and Malta, but spent the last 30 years of his working life as professor of microbiology at University College London.
Close Encounters of the Microbial Kind is all about the infections you’re likely to catch. What causes them? What are the symptoms? How common are they? How are they treated? How to avoid them?
“The aim of the book on infectious diseases was to tell the general public more about those infectious diseases that they’re most likely to catch – rather than the ones the media scare us with eg ebola, anthrax, rabies, smallpox, cholera,” Mike explains.
It’s important that people understand what microbes cause them, what they do to us, how we can avoid them, how we treat them.”
Timely too, as “Then, of course, along came Covid and suddenly everyone became interested in infections.”
Into the Labyrinth: in Search of Daidalos is the story of the amazing life of a genius who lived 4,000 years ago. Daidalos was a sculptor, inventor, engineer and scientist but wreaked havoc wherever he went.
“The inspiration for the Daidalos book was a visit to the Ashmolean Museum and seeing the collections brought back from Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans,” Mike says.
“ I became fascinated with the Minoan civilisation and learned that Daidalos was the right-hand man of King Minos, but also was probably responsible for the downfall of that civilisation. He was the first polymath – sculptor, engineer, scientist, inventor.
“But all most people know about him is that his son was killed while trying to fly. So, I decided to write a book to tell people that there was far more to him than that.”
Michael has a wide range of interests and enjoys travelling abroad, walking and reading. He also loves visiting museums and art galleries.
Readers of N2 might recognise his name as he works as a volunteer in West Berkshire Museum, carrying out research into local history – “I love doing this and have had a few articles published in the NWN.”
All the books are available from Amazon