Profile snaps up infectious disease expert Farrar's take on Covid-19

Profile snaps up infectious disease expert Farrar's take on Covid-19

Profile books will publish Spike – The Virus v The People: The Inside Story by leading scientist Sir Jeremy Farrar, one of the first experts to alert the world about Covid-19. The title will be co-written with science journalist Anjana Ahuja.

Profile m.d. Andrew Franklin bought world rights from Peter Tallack at the Science Factory. Profile will publish on 22nd July 2021. 

Co-authored with Financial Times science columnist Ahuja, the book will tell, from the inside, how the pandemic unfolded and how the global scientific community and the world faced up to the unprecedented threat.    

Farrar is director of The Wellcome Trust in London and, as an expert on infectious disease, is a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a UK governmental advisory body that advises central government in emergencies. 

Ahuja is a journalist and a freelance writer who has covered the coronavirus outbreak extensively since its onset in January 2020. She holds a PhD from Imperial College London.  

Spike describes how the global scientific community mobilised an extraordinary and historic response to get tests, treatments and vaccines,” Profile said. “It will describe what it feels like as one of the key scientists at the sharp end of such a fast-moving situation, when complex decisions must be made quickly amid great uncertainty. It will also cast light on the UK government’s claim to be ‘following the science’ in its response to the virus.” 

Franklin commented: “There are, of course, many books on the pandemic and there will be more, but this one is exceptional and essential reading. This is the ultimate insider’s account from the expert who has been at the heart of the global response to this pandemic and its predecessors. Not only that, it is highly readable, offering vital insights that should shape policy for years to come."

Farrar said: “Covid-19 cast the world into turmoil. The breathtaking scientific advances; the challenge to world leaders to respond for the global good; addressing inequalities that hold back success against the virus; decisions, chances taken or lost to learn from mistakes and successes. All these shape how the world ultimately fares, not just against Covid, but against all the major health challenges we face globally. I hope this book not only plays a part in a record of the Covid response, but also in making sure we learn lessons to ensure scientific progress saves and protects lives in as far-reaching and fair way as possible.” 

Farrar will be donating his royalties from Spike to charity.