❚ SCIENCE’S TV SUPERSTAR effortlessly passed his audition last night to become a stand-up comedian. After receiving a deeply serious medal at the Institute of Physics, Prof Brian Cox OBE made a highly intelligent yet laugh-out-loud speech attacking rubbish journalism and various politicians, while pouring scorn on homeopathists and other dreamers in la-la land.
The 44-year-old particle physicist has spent the past few years building a media career, explaining the universe from the tops of mountains in a string of TV series including Wonders of the Universe, plus The Infinite Monkey Cage on Radio 4 and as a live stage show, while popping up on 6Music’s breakfast show. Cox’s prodigious and wide-ranging efforts to popularise science persuaded People magazine to include the former the keyboard player for the pop group D:Ream in their list of Sexiest Men Alive. Last night’s speech also threw down an epic challenge to the British government to wake up to the needs of education in science and technology.
➢ Q: If you put your hand in the beam of the Large Hadron Collider what would happen to your hand? A: “It would hurt quite a bit” — Boffins respond at the Sixty Symbols website