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 www.popularscience.co.uk book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

  • Labradorite, a type of feldspar
    Podcast

    Feldspar

    2020-06-12T13:45:00

    Brian Clegg introduces the humble mineral that delights both astronomers and archaeologists

  • Olives and olive oil
    Podcast

    Oleic acid

    2020-05-08T08:35:00

    Brian Clegg discovers the link between olive oil, dandruff and stained glass windows.

  • Woman taking a pain killer tablet
    Podcast

    Ibuprofen

    2020-03-20T15:15:00

    Brian Clegg on the popular over-the-counter painkiller, developed by a high-street pharmacy chain

  • Barley crop
    Podcast

    Amylase

    2020-02-14T09:14:00

    Brian Clegg on the enzymes make life a little sweeter by breaking down starch into sugars, helping to make bread and beer

  • Turpentine bottle
    Podcast

    Terephthalic acid

    2020-01-24T15:30:00

    Once thought of as an interesting – but useless – turpentine derivative, this oddly-named acid became the precursor to one of the world’s most widely used plastics

  • Zeolite powder
    Podcast

    Zeolites

    2019-11-22T11:37:00

    Brian Clegg introduces the class of materials where the holes are more important than the whole – the super-porous zeolites

  • Self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover
    Podcast

    Gallium arsenide

    2019-11-01T09:30:00

    Brian Clegg introduces gallium arsenide – the supercar of the semiconductor scene

  • Zircon jewellery on a white background
    Podcast

    Zircon

    2019-07-12T09:00:00

    The versatile gemstones that give scientists insights into the chemistry of the early Earth, introduced by Brian Clegg

  • Photographic dark room in red light
    Podcast

    Silver iodide

    2019-06-14T09:30:00

    How the compound that ushered in a photographic revolution has taken to the skies to try to control the weather

  • Computer chip
    Podcast

    Beryllium oxide

    2019-05-17T13:27:00

    Brian Clegg examines the duality that makes beryllium oxide so valuable to the electronics industry

  • Plume of talcum powder
    Podcast

    Talc: Magnesium silicate

    2019-04-05T10:30:00

    Coating your naked body with powdered magnesium silicate may sound strange, but it's an important part of many bathtime rituals

  • Funeral mask of the Pharoah Tutankhamun
    Podcast

    Lazurite

    2019-02-15T12:09:00

    A brilliant rich blue rock, prized in antiquity as a gemstone and a prominent pigment, lazurite is the basis of lapis lazuli, the original ultramarine paint and – as Brian Clegg finds – it even adorns Tutankhamun's death mask

  • Tin cans
    Podcast

    Tin chlorides

    2018-11-29T15:19:00

    The compounds that put the 'tin' in tin cans and help you to reflect on your appearance

  • Coloured epoxy resin on wood
    Podcast

    Epoxies

    2018-11-16T14:25:00

    Epoxies – including hard-wearing resins and strong adhesives – can be found almost everywhere, from your household white goods to the Large Hadron Collider

  • A bowl of almonds
    Podcast

    Benzaldehyde

    2018-08-23T16:59:00

    Brian Clegg on the almond flavour compound that gives your taste buds a treat and may help rescue survivors from a disaster

  • NPK fertiliser
    Podcast

    Potassium sulfate

    2018-07-05T16:52:00

    Brian Clegg on a compound that keeps us well fed and looking radiant

  • Iron pyrite (fool's gold)
    Podcast

    Iron sulfides

    2018-06-14T16:50:00

    One mineral form may look like gold, but Brian Clegg isn't fooled by the value of iron sulfides

  • Early to mid 20th century product tins most visibly one from Folger's Golden Gate Cream Tartar, Edmonds Historical Museum, Edmonds, Washington, USA.
    Podcast

    Potassium bitartrate

    2018-05-24T09:00:00

    Brian Clegg with the winemaking byproduct that may be lurking in your larder

  • Periodic table of the elements – 114 – Flerovium
    Podcast

    Flerovium

    2018-02-09T13:45:00

    How 'hot fusion' research saw an end to cold war tensions

  • Rolex submariner, dial glowing in the dark
    Podcast

    Strontium aluminate

    2018-02-01T16:25:00

    A glow-in-the-dark compound that defies naming conventions

More by Brian Clegg