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.

  • A single layer of molybdenum disulfide

    Molybdenum disulfide

    1 March 2017

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

  • A bag of freshly donated blood


    8 February 2017

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

  • 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 lab laser with warning label

    Neodymium chloride

    26 October 2016

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Bowl of sugar


    31 May 2016

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

  • Cadmium tellurideiStock22603935300tb

    Cadmium telluride

    27 April 2016

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

  • 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

  • A violin

    Sodium hypochlorite

    9 March 2016

    What do hygienic work surfaces have in common with 19th century French violins? Brian Clegg finds out.

  • Manganese dioxide

    Manganese dioxide

    25 November 2015

    Brian Clegg paints a picture of a compound found in ancient cave paintings and top-of-the-range electronics: Manganese dioxide

  • Formula 1 pitstop


    4 November 2015

    There’s more to toluene than TNT, as Brian Clegg reveals

  • Pot of Marmite

    Thiamine or vitamin B

    22 October 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces an essential nutrient, and the first to hold the name ‘vitamin’: Thiamine or vitamin B

  • vials of cephalosporin


    15 October 2015

    A story which starts knee-deep in sewage and ends with the spread of drug resistant infections like MRSA

  • War poster about lewisite


    7 October 2015

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a molecule named after you? But perhaps not this week’s compound, the chemical weapon lewisite

  • Vanadium oxide powder

    Vanadium Oxides

    5 August 2015

    Brian Clegg introduces an exotic chemical dynasty: the Vanadium oxides

  • Silly putty


    22 July 2015

    Brian Clegg tells us about a silicone gel, which can sometimes be a bit silly

  • Large rolls of paper

    Sodium sulfate

    1 July 2015

    Brian Clegg on sodium sulfate, known as ‘the miraculous salt’ because of its strong laxative effects.

  • A doctor checks someone's pulse

    Cortisol & Hydrocortisone

    16 June 2015

    Brian Clegg investigates a compound that calms inflamed joints and excites the stressed brain: Cortisol

More by Brian Clegg