FT Plunges into Science with New Imprint


By Neal Comment

tim-moore-ftscience.jpgThree or four years ago—give or take a couple months—Tim Moore of FT Press saw a cover story in The Economist predicting, as he recalled it, “that if the 20th century was the century of physics, the 21st century was going to be the century of biology… [there would be] an enormous boom in what we loosely call ‘life sciences.'” That set mental gears turning, he told us during a phone call last week, and, this season, he’s finally ready to launch FT Science, a new imprint dedicated to this field. “There’s so much money and new knowledge and interest floating around that it seemed like a no-brainer,” he told us cheerfully—and though this is “a signficantly smaller section of the bookstore” than FT’s traditional financial focus, Moore isn’t worried: “It’s grown tremendously in the last decade,” he said, “and it’s an exciting place to be.”

“I’m looking for books that will provide people with the opportunity to change the way they look at the world around them,” he continued, books like the recently published Lies, Damned Lies, and Science, which discusses how scientific research can be subject to politicization, and It Takes a Genome, which explains, in his words, how “we have set ourselves up to have our genetic makeup and the world we live in at odds with each other.” He plans to publish six more books this year, and 12-14 in 2010, with at least 50 percent expansion in the frontlist in subsequent years for a good stretch of time. “I would anticipate publishing 40-50 books a year in four or five years,” he predicted, “and if we do this right, those books would be a mix of consumer and professional books.”