The One Show’s ‘science bloke’ enthralls and enchants during Christmas lecture

Posted on 5th January 2018

Marty Jopson, the self-acclaimed ‘science bloke’ who regularly appears on The One Show on BBC One, captured the public scientific imagination when he gave this year’s special Christmas lecture at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.

Marty Jopson presenting the Christmas lecture at Thornton Science Park
Marty Jopson presenting the Christmas lecture at Thornton Science Park

Marty explored the laws of physics during his lecture ‘Dangerous Equations’, bringing science and maths into the real world, including with his ‘pendulum of doom’, which showed how energy is conserved and used the equations for potential energy and kinetic energy (the school students were also asked to choose a teacher to be involved in the demo). Marty also demonstrated how oxygen is needed for burning, by setting fire to a special, chemically treated piece of cotton wool in his hand. Because this burned extremely fast it did not burn him. Don’t try this at home!

The Faculty of Science and Engineering hosted the one hour lecture as part of its Christmas Lectures series at Thornton Science Park, which brings Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects to life.

The lecture was fully interactive and required participation – keeping his audience on the edge of their seat. Schools across Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and Shropshire attended the daytime lecture (with a total of 210 students); and then approximately 70 people attended the evening lecture.

Using some cunning equations, Marty explored a series of fun topics, including how a piece of string can travel at 900 miles per hour, the science of loud explosions and the mathematics behind a karate chop.

Angela Lupton, Higher Education STEM Co-ordinator at the University, said: “It was an absolute delight to welcome Dr Marty Jopson to Thornton Science Park to deliver our annual Faculty of Science and Engineering, Christmas lecture. The lectures were both very well attended and I hope that our younger audience, in particular, found him as inspiring as I did!”

Marty has spent 10 years presenting science and history on TV and has also been making props for TV programmes, museums and live events for the last 13 years.