About this blog


July 2019

My name is Michael de Podesta and from April 2000 until April 2020, I was a scientist at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Prior to that I was lecturer in Physics at Birkbeck College and University College London.

This blog stems from a course called Protons for Breakfast that I ran at NPL from 2004 until 2014. It aimed to help people make sense of some of the science they encounter in everyday life. The course generally entertained, amused and educated  but its primary aim was to empower.

People are generally familiar with many parts of the body of scientific knowledge, but often they do not understand the context of their own knowledge, or how one thing they know relates to another thing they know. Protons for Breakfast was a ‘big picture’ course which aimed to make those connections.

This blog is generally about things in the news which impinge on the topics we dealt with in the course. These include mobile phone safety, climate change and nuclear power. However, there are also personal comments and general proclamations about anything that captures my attention. On occasion I even discuss my work or my feelings. But all opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the views of any organisation.

I started the blog in January 2008 and I moved it to WordPress in September 2009.

Me at work in 2002
Me at work in 2002

3 Responses to “About this blog”

  1. Chris Howes Says:

    Following on from last weeks topic; After playing tennis on artificial carpet courts we often get an electric shock when opening the gates of the courts, but if we use the end of the tennis racket to pull back the door we do not get a shock. Is this because the racket has some sort on insulating element.
    I’m afraid I do have a VERY poor understanding of atoms etc as there is a total lack of science in my formal education.
    Sorry this is so late in the week.

  2. Cathy Goddard Says:

    Please let me know dates of next courses.

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