An Evening with Brian Cox

A few years ago when I first discovered Professor Brian Cox, I wrote a gushy, crushy post about him on this very blog. Last night I had the good fortune of seeing him speak in person at the Melbourne Convention Centre, hosted by Melbourne Uni. And I’ll tell you what, all that gushy, crushyness came rushing back!

The packed theatre was led on a journey through cosmology and the vastness of the universe, to particle physics and the incomprehensible weirdness of quantum field theory. We experienced the engineering masterpiece which is the Large Hadron Collider, and contemplated the origin of life and the diversity it’s spawned.

As almost an intermission to the talk, we were treated to a reworking of Monty Python’s The Galaxy Song, which Brian Cox and Eric Idle had rewritten for Brian’s new series Wonders of Life.

This morning, thinking back to all of the fantastic scientists, science communicators and Nobel Prize winners I have seen speak over the years, I think Brian’s talk last night could be the best I’ve ever seen. He speaks with passion and eloquence, uses Powerpoint in the way God intended, and used fresh analogies rather than the same ones we see trotted out over and over. He managed to weave a series of disparate topics into a coherent story, making complex science into something so approachable and fascinating.

Did I mention that we had awesome seats too? About 10 rows from the front.

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Check the hashtag #BCoxMelb on twitter for some more photos and comments from the night. The memories from last night will definitely remain in my mind for a long time, he sets such a high standard for all future science communicators to aspire to.



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