Safety in numbers

30 Nov 2017

The radio reporter switched on her tape-recorder and, looking up encouragingly at the white-haired scientist sitting next to me, said: ‘So, tell me, John Treherne, why do animals live in groups?’ John paused to consider a suitably enlightening response. A complicated series of possibilities seemed to be passing through his mind and after a slow rasping intake of breath, which I thought might go on forever, he said: ‘I dunno, really.’ We had to regroup. The best answer we could think of was: ‘Because there is safety in numbers’.