FameLab Italia

•April 14, 2013 • 1 Comment

Just spent a fantastic two days contributing to the Masterclass stage of FameLab Italia. Hard to believe that it will soon be ten years since the first FameLab competition and that it continues to create a platform for what has turned out to be and extraordinary number of gifted young scientist communicators worldwide. Can’t wait for the Italian Final in Perugia on May 3rd


Unforgettables 2012

•January 2, 2013 • 2 Comments

For the second consecutive year,  charcoal-grilling part of my wife’s pet hedge at our mid-summer barbecue party, which turned out to be an epic scorched meat and succulent salad fest that will be long remembered by all who had to listen to it across the valley.

My  young grandson Ethan’s absolute obsession with vacuum cleaners, and waking to the sound of a haunting cry of Hooverrr, Hooooverrr spoken in the same tone as a Jane Austen heroine pining for a lost love

Returning to the Cheltenham Science Festival after three years to find it in rude health and double the size and to meet Barry Marshall the man who won the Nobel Prize for proving that Helicobacter cause peptic ulcers and who did it by, amongst other things, serving himself a stiff helicobacter-packed cocktail and waiting to see what happened.

Spending three days in Puglia seriously sampling at 10 in the morning wines that were candidates to feature at my daughter Maija’s wedding.  Dave, her fiancé, joined me in some epicurean, charcoal-centred activity that ensured the non-wine drinking wedding guests had their needs considered with equal selflessness

TentativeTaxonomy of Science Festivals

•April 8, 2012 • 1 Comment

I developed this tentative-taxonomy-of-science-festivals 2 for a talk I gave in New York in November 2010 and thought it might be worth making it more widely available. I found it interesting that Science Festivals seemed to draw to different extents on two distinctive traditions for public events, namely the University Open Day and the Arts Festival and would be very interested in other people’ views

Wild Hackney nominated for two BBC Audio Drama Awards

•January 12, 2012 • 3 Comments

Wild Hackney has been nominated for two BBC Audio Drama Awards in the Best Online Audio Drama and Innovation categories.

The drama is set in the aftermath of the inundation of the East London flood plains, a not so wild guess at what sea level rise might mean to the low lying coastal  world capitals. Public Engagement with climate change given the upstream treatment?

Wild Hackney

•July 22, 2011 • 1 Comment

Fresh from winning a Silver Sony Award  for Night in Hackney Francesca my daughter and producer has given me the chance to narrate another piece Wild Hackney  that  takes  its inspiration from the Victorian Gothic novel After London by Richard Jefferies that describes London reverting to nature after a flood, with only a few survivors roaming the marshland under which the once great city is submerged. Francesca at her compositional best in exploring a scenario that might still become a reality [although it’s a huge comfort that we could all take refuge in the Olympic Stadium].

Science comes to the Canterbury Festival

•July 22, 2011 • 1 Comment

Very excited as the programme for the science strand I devised for the Canterbury Festival is published. It’s all about science and performance, my two great loves and features some of the liveliest minds at that fascinating boundary between science and the arts.

Get down to Canterbury between October 18th and 22nd if you can.

“Night in Hackney” nominated for Sony Best Internet Programme Award

•March 31, 2011 • 1 Comment

Just found out that my daughter Francesca’s programme that takes you through a typical  Hackney night and  for which I got the acting credit for the narration is shortlisted for a Sony Radio Academy Award. Great feeling to get nominated for an acting award again after all these years. To listen to the programme go to: Night in Hackney