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Book Launch: Bullsh*t Comparisons with Tom Heap and Andrew Brooks

The Exchange, Strand Campus, London

12Junfish bike3

Join us as broadcaster Tom Heap (Countryfile, Costing the Earth, The Climate Show) talks to author and academic Andrew Brooks about his new book 'Bullsh*t Comparisons: A field guide to thinking critically in a world of difference' in a thoughtful and open discussion about the misleading use of comparisons in everything from university league tables to analogies between climate change and the space race.

The event includes a drinks reception and an opportunity to buy the book.


About the book

Life is complicated, comparisons are easy.

We consume enormous quantities of information every day from sources that are reliable, and those less trustworthy, including journalists, politicians, friends and social media.

One of the most commons tools we use to communicate is comparison. Are we suffering a 'hurricane' of migrants? Do dogs look like their owners? Is Oxford better than Harvard? Metaphors, models and metrics are used to compare anything from schools, to wars, to iconic people. But how helpful are they? What truths do they hide and what bullsh*t do comparisons propagate?

Looking across a fascinating range of situations both familiar and unfamiliar, serious and light-hearted, Bullsh*t Comparisons is a ground-breaking guide to the role of could-be-true but misleading comparisons. It is illuminated by examples spanning the globe from university league tables, to childhood rivalries, politicians' tawdry analogies, the FIFA World Footballer of the year award and Chinese neo-colonialism in Africa.

Ideal for anyone interested in critical thinking or who simply wants to be able to spot bullsh*t at twenty paces, this thought-provoking, intelligent and often amusing book will challenge you to think critically about the use of comparison.


About the author

Andrew Brooks is a Reader in Uneven Development and Deputy Head of the Geography Department at King’s College London.

A first book ‘Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-hand Clothes’ was published by Zed Books in 2015, with a second edition in 2019 and reprints in Spanish and Japanese. His next book was ‘The End of Development: A Global History of Poverty and Prosperity’ was also with Zed Books (2017).

His work on international development, and especially the fashion sector, reached international media including Al Jazeera, BBC News, CNN, The Economist, The Guardian, Le Monde, The New York Times and Newsweek.


About the host

Tom Heap presents the investigations on BBC’s Countryfile and weekend editions of The Daily Climate Show on Sky News.

Tom is also the principal voice of ‘Costing the Earth’ on Radio 4, the nation’s only dedicated environment series.

He is also a regular Panorama reporter covering food, farming, energy and wildlife.

Tom Heap started his career at Sky News as a sound man and worked his way up through the BBC News Trainee scheme to BBC News Correspondent specialising in Rural Affairs, Science and the Environment.

In 2003, Tom led a broadcasting team to cover the 50th anniversary of the ascent of Mount Everest ‘Everest Live’ for the BBC with regular broadcasts and hosting a live 30-minute programme from base camp.

At this event

Andrew Brooks

Reader in Uneven Development & Deputy Head of Department

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