Sir Patrick, in his diary entries, expressed frustration with the former prime minister’s lack of understanding of scientific concepts. However, he also acknowledged that this was not a unique issue for Mr Johnson. In fact, many scientific advisers across the world were facing similar challenges when it came to explaining complex ideas to politicians.
During a meeting with scientific advisers from Europe, everyone laughed when it was revealed that one leader was struggling with exponential curves. This difficulty was not exclusive to Mr Johnson as it was affecting many other countries as well.
In his testimony to the inquiry, Sir Patrick mentioned that the prime minister had given up science at a young age and struggled with certain concepts. According to diary entries from September 20, 2020, Mr Johnson even wondered if “we are licked as a species” before imposing another lockdown. These entries provide insight into the challenges faced by scientific advisers in communicating complex ideas to politicians and the difficulties leaders like Mr Johnson encountered in understanding such concepts.