Science Showoff

A month or two back, looking to publiscise the work I do, I got talking to the university PR people. It was suggested I email Steve Cross at Science Showoff and do a 9 minute stand-up science/comedy set for them.

I was skeptical to say the least; but noting ventured, nothing gained.

I prepared a bunch of slides and videos and didn’t rehearse them. I was still woring out what to say in my head as I was introduced. Oh, by the way, this is in front of a crowd of around 100 strangers, who had all paid for the privilege of seeing 10 of us try to be funny ( and scientific).

It went worryingly well. People laughed when they were supposed to. Everything worked.


I even got a nice bunch of tweets and new followers afterwards.


Now if I can just figure out how to make snails poo different colours I might have another bash at this.



A trip to the top of the UK. The view from Ben Nevis was largely obscured by cloud, but the trek was warm and easy.


The pub at the end on the way down was a very welcome sight.
2h 45m to get up, and about as long on the downward return (it’s very hard on the knees).

Favourite fossil

I’m at the London natural history museum for a conference this week. Always a good excuse to go looking at the exhibits in the lunch break. In all the years I’ve been visiting NHM, one fossil has really stuck in my memory.


It’s an ichthyosaur, that died while giving birth. An amazing, if sad find.