* 'A Pollutant’s Tale' – A Lecture-Demonstration

'A Pollutant’s Tale' is a lecture-demonstration now given mainly by Tim Harrison of the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol and, occasionally, jointly with DudleyShallcross. A cadre of suitably trained postgraduate chemists and postdoctoral researchers can also present this talk.

Contents of the lecture can be found here.

Tim and Dudley after the lecture

The lecture covers

Throughout the lecture there are demonstrations including some involving liquid nitrogen, oxygen foam, dry ice and a few explosions. With senior audiences the longer version also includes climate change.

A Pollutant's Tale

Download the lecture

The lecture demonstration is 50 to 75 minutes long depending on the age of the audience. For senior students some aspects of global warming are examined in greater detail. The lecture has also been presented to members of the wider community, for example parents, visually impaired people, scouts and church groups.

This lecture has been given over 2200 times within the last 14 years at the time of writing (August 2018) at schools and universities including those in: Australia, ChinaFrance, Hungary, IrelandJersey, Malaysia, Malta, Malaysia,Namibia, New Zealand, South AfricaSpain, Turkey and The United States.

"Dear Tim & Dudley

Many thanks again.

I know from the feedback I have had after the talk/ demo that listeners were knocked out by the event. I will attach the review written for the local Gazette by a major mover in 'Sustainable Thornbury' that says it all.

All good wishes


Barbara Ray, Artistic Director for the Thornbury Festival


There is a charge made for this lecture to cover the cost of transport, disposables, technicianing and subsistence. The lecture may be given up to 3 times per day and different age variations are available.

Please contact t.g.harrison@bristol.ac.uk


To deliver the lecture we normally need:

The nearest person to the demos is advised to be 2m away.

Notes on the Speakers

Tim HarrisonTim Harrison is the first School Teacher Fellow at Bristol ChemLabS. He is also the Science Communicator in Residence and Director of Outreach.

Prior to this he has been a Head of Chemistry and Science College Director. Tim has taught chemistry for 25 years and his work is mainly in the promotion of chemistry. Tim won the Secondary Education Teaching Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2005 and the 2007 University of Bristol's Engagement Award for the Faculty of Science. In March 2010 Tim was awarded an inaugural, and only, Hawksbee Award from the Royal Society for a chemist.

Dudley Shallcross and his SCI prizeDudley Shallcross is the Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at Bristol. He leads the atmospheric chemistry group at Bristol whose research includes the atmospheric monitoring of important environmental gases, alongside the interpretation of this data. Dudley also works with the Met Office.

In 2004 Dudley was awarded a 
National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) under the Rising Star category, for his excellence and innovation in teaching. More recently, Dudley won the Faculty of Science 2005 Teaching Prize and the Higher Education Teaching Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2005. In 2006 he was the first ever recipient of the SCI (Society of Chemical Industries) International Chemical Education Award. In 2007 he was promoted to Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and also received the University of Bristol's Engagement Award for the Faculty of Science. In 2008 he was awarded the RSC Tertiary Education Award in recognition for his contributions to the promotion of the chemical sciences through outreach which have impacted on all ages from 4 to 85 both in the UK and overseas and, in particular, for work which addresses the school-university transition to include those with physical disability. He also received the 2008 Royal Meteorological Society's Michael Hunt Award, which recognises achievement in increasing the understanding of meteorology or its applied disciplines among members of the general public.in 2017 Dudley Shallcross was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Nyholm Prize for Education for 2017. This Prize recognises Dudley’s innovations in the chemistry (science) education sector in the UK and overseas which have been effective and long-lasting, impacting Primary School science through to postgraduate training and education.

Bristol ChemLabS Outreach was awarded a Big Tick in the Business in the Community’s Awards for Excellence 2009. An independent panel judged the project's outreach and engagement activities with schools, teachers and students of all ages to be making a strikingly positive and sustained impact on the community. It has also has been ‘Highly Commended’ in the national Business in the Community's Bank of America Merrill Lynch Education Award. The Big Tick award was re-accredited in June 2010 and June 2011.

Big Tick logo Big Tick http://www.chemlabs.bris.ac.uk/cetlpics/logos/BigTick2011.jpg

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