Mathematics, the media, and the public

  • Ian Stewart

    University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Mathematics, the media, and the public cover
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It is becoming increasingly necessary, and important, for mathematicians to engage with the general public. Our subject is widely misunderstood, and its vital role in today’s society goes mostly unobserved. Most people are unaware that any mathematics exists beyond what they did at school. So our prime objective must be to make people aware that new mathematics is constantly being invented, and that the applications of mathematics are essential in a technological world. The mass media can play a significant role in encouraging such understanding, but the world of the media is very different from the academic world. I describe what it is like to engage with the media, concentrating on my own experiences of the past 40 years.