Brian Clegg

Brian Clegg

Author of The universe inside you

Brian read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and gained an MA in Operational Research at Lancaster University. From Lancaster, he joined British Airways, originally working in OR and later forming a new department tasked with developing hi-tech solutions for the airline. Brian now concentrates on writing popular science books, with topics ranging from infinity to time machines. He also writes for magazines and newspapers from Nature and The Wall Street Journal to Playboy. He gives regular talks and has contributed to radio and TV programmes. Brian edits the book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

  • News stories about 'Ginger Jake', the spirit that caused paralysis known as 'Jake walk' during prohibition

    Phosphorus chlorides

    22 September 2017

    A hugely useful group of compounds that have a distinct dual personality

  • Wooden floorboards


    27 July 2017

    Wood has been vital in the development of human civilisation. Brian Clegg looks at the compound at its heart

  • A bag of freshly donated blood


    8 February 2017

    Brian Clegg examines the colourful compounds that no red-blooded creature can do without: Porphyrins

  • A single layer of molybdenum disulfide

    Molybdenum disulfide

    1 March 2017

    Brian Clegg discovers the compound that makes the world’s smallest transistors

  • An image of a powder with a faint blue glow

    Caesium chloride

    14 June 2017

    A compound found in mineral water that is also used in medical treatments and solar cells

  • A rustic cheeseboard


    6 July 2017

    The enzyme that helps us turn milk into cheese is also responsible for the biggest commercial success story of any genetically modified organism

  • An orange mug filled with fruit

    Uranium dioxide

    6 April 2016

    This week’s compound has had a glowing career in the arts and a runaway success in the energy sector

  • Cadmium tellurideiStock22603935300tb

    Cadmium telluride

    27 April 2016

    It may not be the best material for solar cells but it has some distinct advantages

  • Bowl of sugar


    31 May 2016

    The tastiest food additive there is, or the greatest threat to life in the western world?

  • Statin tablets


    17 August 2016

    Brian Clegg gets to the heart of the matter on the benefits or otherwise of one of the most commonly prescribed drugs

  • Blue Monkshood flowers, one of several Aconitum species


    31 August 2016

    This powerful poison is said to have the power to transform werewolves and heal snake bites. Brian Clegg unpicks fiction from fact

  • Laundry drying on a line, surrounded by bubbles

    Quaternary ammonium salts

    21 September 2016

    Brian Clegg introduces a family of molecules that first gave fluffy softness to freshly washed clothes

  • A lab laser with warning label

    Neodymium chloride

    26 October 2016

    From medicine to the military, this compound makes lasers for a range of applications

  • Ball and stick structure of adamantane


    26 January 2017

    Brian Clegg introduces a crystalline hydrocarbon that isn’t as tough as it sounds, but is the basis of a wide range of medicines

  • A sample of PEDOT


    4 February 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces the ‘ogres’ that make up transparent electronics

  • Toothpaste on a toothbrush


    25 March 2015

    Sensible approach to dental rot or sinister communist plot? Brian Clegg examines the much-maligned fluorides

  • Bowl of cornflakes


    8 April 2015

    Brian Clegg discusses the vitamin found in both breakfast cereal and meteorites: Niacin

  • an old lamp


    29 April 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces a compound steeped in faded Victorian glamour – acetylene

  • Woman with a jar of face cream

    Hyaluronic acid

    13 May 2015

    Brian Clegg smooths out the wrinkles over the darling of the cosmetic industry, hyaluronic acid

  • A pyramid in Egypt

    Calcium hydroxide

    27 May 2015

    It rendered walls of pyramids and helps remove unwanted hair - Brian Clegg introduces a compound with many names - Calcium hydroxide

More by Brian Clegg