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School Science Talks
A number of popular science writers are available to give science lectures at schools and colleges. (If you're an author and want to be listed here for free, just drop us an email at email@example.com)
Fran Bate -
Arnold website for details/bookings
Horrible Science School shows are presented by Fran Bate a science presenter at the Science Museum using Nick Arnoldís original scripts. Fran has presented successful shows with excellent feedback at Primary and Secondary schools. The shows use activities from the books, quizzes, readings and humour to bring the books to life.
Brian Clegg -
Brian Clegg is available to give a range of talks on science and maths topics for schools and a general audience (see list below).
Brian has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge. an MA in Operational Research from Lancaster and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He spent 18 years at British Airways, but since 1994 has run his own company, Creativity Unleashed, providing business creativity training. He began writing books at the same time and has come to specialise in popular science with titles including Light Years (an exploration of humanityís fascination with light), First Scientist (a life of Roger Bacon), A Brief History of Infinity, Ecologic (winner of the 2009 IVCA Clarion Award) and Before the Big Bang.
Brian has spoken at the Royal Institution and the Dana Centre in London, at science festivals including Cheltenham Festival of Science and at schools including: City of Norwich School, Fearnhill School, Magdalene College School, Manchester Grammar School, Maidstone Girlsí Grammar, Norwich School, Portsmouth Grammar School, St Paulís School (Milton Keynes), Stonyhurst College, Trent College and Winchester College. Pricing is £160 for a one hour talk plus questions (£200 if in the evening), £240 for a half day or £350 for a full day. This excludes travel expenses.
Brian Clegg's Talks
WRITE NOW Ė What does it take to make a book? What does being an author involve? A highly interactive range of workshops for all ages from a short session for Key Stage 1 to a half day or full day for sixth forms. These events explore what is involved in being a writer from obtaining the first idea to producing and distributing the book and making translations. Thereís lots of activity and inspiration along the way.
Key stage 2
HOW DOES LIGHT WORK? This lively session starts by stressing that lightís much more than what we see with Ė itís what keeps us warm, gives us oxygen to breathe, and even fills our bodies in invisible webs of light. This leads on to discovering just what light is, and how itís different from anything else we experience.
HOW DOES STUFF WORK? Matter, from basic atoms to quantum theory. How, for example, we can sit on a chair when both the person and the chair are mostly empty space. Gets in lots of basic physics, but coming at it from unexpected directions.
HOW DOES THE UNIVERSE WORK? Where the universe came from, how we can possibly work that out, whatís out there if you go far enough and why the aliens havenít come visiting yet. Cosmology always holds a fascination for a young audience.
Key stage 3 and above/adult
INFLIGHT SCIENCE - (from April 2011) - an enjoyable exploration of the science that you will experience on a plane journey, both in the flight itself and also in the view from your airplane window. From Newtonís laws to relativity, from fractals to cloud formation, thereís something fascinating every moment.
ECOLOGIC Ė linked to my book Ecologic, this talk/discussion looks at how our attitude to green issues from recycling and carbon footprints to Fairtrade and organic food tend to be influenced more by emotion than by logic. The talk provides students with a toolkit to take a more realistic, less black-and-white view of the environment.
WHO INVENTED SCIENCE? - based on my book The First Scientist and a debate I devised for the Royal Institution, this is an exploration of what science is. The talk hangs on key people who might be considered to be the first scientist - people like Archimedes, Roger Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and even Maxwell. But apart from giving some entertaining insights into these key characters in the development of science it's also an opportunity to explore the nature of science and why we do it. Optionally we can have a vote at the end to see who the audience believe was the first scientist.
LIGHT YEARS Ė A historical journey from ancient times to the present day of that most amazing phenomenon, light. From the bizarre ideas of the ancient Greeks that light streamed from our eyes to modern experiments where light has been pushed past its own speed, and so backwards in time, or slowed to a stop, itís a fascinating subject. Packed with amazing aspects of light from its incredibly fast speed, unchanged by relativity to the way the very atoms of our body are held together by an invisible web of light.
BEFORE THE BIG BANG Ė Based on Brianís new book about the origins of the universe and what came before it, this talk gives the audience a chance to explore the most popular question asked of the British Science Association Ė what came before the Big Bang. The event starts with the creation myths and explores how we first began to realize the scale of the universe. From there we see how the Big Bang theory came into being and how it isnít quite as certain as it is often portrayed, looking at the best of the current alternative theories. As the title suggest, we also consider that perennial question, if there was a Big Bang, what came before it... and discover that the answer could be nothing at all.
THE SCIENCE THEY DIDNíT TEACH YOU IN SCHOOL - science in school sometimes seems to miss all the best bits. Pick any one from this set of talks, which includes key aspects of modern science and the science you need to make sense of the news headlines:
MEMORIES - most of us struggle with memory. But in this fun, interactive talk there's a chance to learn a little about how memory works and try out some practical techniques that will help you remember people's names, numbers and lists of information. It's a talk you can't fail to remember.
STUDYING USING THE WEB - Anyone can type a few keywords into a search engine and slavishly copy out the results. Based on Brianís book Studying Using the Web, this interactive session demonstrates how to find the right material, check its authenticity, transform it into your own original work and keep up-to-date on essential topics.
STUDYING CREATIVELY Ė Good ideas are essential for any student who wants to do well. This invaluable workshop gives you the tools you need to work creatively, and shows that creativity isnít just about getting good results, itís fun and gives you a real buzz.
Key stage 4 and above/adult
A BRIEF HISTORY OF INFINITY Ė Where did the idea of infinity come from? Who were the people who defined and refined this paradoxical quantity? Why is infinity, a concept we can never experience or truly grasp, at the heart of science? How can some infinities be bigger than others? An exploration of the most mind-boggling feature of maths and physics, this talk examines amazing paradoxes and the people who devised and refined the concept.
FASTER THAN LIGHT - "Nothing can travel faster than light" is central to relativity. But is it true? This mind bending session looks at experiments that sent signals past the light barrier and the remarkable instantaneous linkage that emerges from quantum entanglement. From there we see why sending a message faster than light has such significance, discovering how it would enable us to send a message backwards in time. Finally we come back to earth with the realities that limit the practical applications of these superluminal links. Explores mind bending science, finding out more about light, quantum theory and relativity into the bargain.
THE MAN WHO STOPPED TIME - Eadweard Muybridge was an eccentric Victorian photographer who produced the first high speed motion photographs, analysed the movement of animals and humans, devised the first motion picture projector and ran the first cinema. He travelled out from his birthplace of Kingston upon Thames to the wild world of 1870s California, where he murdered his wifeís lover. Itís a story packed with drama and fascinating technological developments.
Plus a special 1 to 1.5 hour event for teachers
CREATIVITY IN THE CLASSROOM - an inspiring look at creativity techniques and exercises that can be used in the classroom, including an opportunity to assess why you want to bring creativity into the classroom and an introduction to the nature of creativity and how creativity techniques work.
Kjartan Poskitt - see Kjartan's website for bookings and other details
Since Kjartan got his engineering degree he has worked on children's TV (dating back to BBC's Swap Shop!), presented science and maths programmes, warmed up thousands of studio audiences, toured his one man show, played a lot of pub pianos very loudly and has been Widow Twankey. In recent years he has appeared all over the country as well as on TV demonstrating mathematical tricks and oddities from his books. He has written many shows and pantomimes, twice winning the London Fringe Award for Best Production. He has five shows published including his world-wide success Henry the Tudor Dude (produced over 100 times) and his latest - Nell's Belles.
His books have been translated in up to 20 languages and include the Murderous Maths series, The Gobsmacking Galaxy, Isaac Newton and his Apple, and many more. He has also written songs and scripts and worked as a games consultant for a wide range of children's TV shows and his music for TV includes the original themes for the BBC's "BRUM" and the long running "SMART" series.
Kjartan Poskitt's talks:
You choose what kind of event you want. Everything has plenty of audience participation, I'm glad to answer any questions and (hopefully) we'll have some good laughs. Although aimed at intelligent kids aged 10-12, I find that at festivals I'm usually playing to as many mums, dads and grannies as children. I've also done GCSE groups and summer schools. No limit to audience size - in fact, generally the more the better. I've done audiences of well over 1000.
Richard Robinson - see Richard's website for bookings and other details
Richard is author of seven books on popular science, including the Science Magic series, which was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize, as well as a founder member of ITV's Spitting Image. His most recent book is Why the Toast Always Lands Butter Side Down, published by Constable & Robinson in 2005.
Richard Robinson's talks:
Learn up to 130 quick-fire magic tricks, then learn the science behind them. The tricks are self-working; you need no skills, no fancy finger-work, no hidden mirrors, threads, trap-doors or stooges,
cos the real magician is Nature!
All the talks are linked into the National Curriculum for Key Stages 2 and 3 (7-15 years old) . Topics cover physics, chemistry and biology, including optical illusions and the psychology of science. Richard performs at Festivals, parties and schools Each age gets something different out of it; they marvel at the magic, they learn how to do the tricks, they discover the science that makes the magic seem to happen, they learn a little more about the World. Even grown-ups will pick up a thing or two!
Malcolm Rose - see Malcolm's website - ex lecturer in chemistry who writes science-based fiction
April Pulley Sayre - see April's website - talks on nature and the writing process
Learn about the latest degree options at Cardinal Stritch university, with many of the programs available online.
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Last update 24 February 2007