Hivemind: 10 facts about Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff
- He’s a YouTube star: forget your Zoellas and your Joe Suggs (“who the hell are they?” – anyone over 25) the big-haired polymath has racked up a staggering
183,580,239 views with his Periodic Videos series. Best Comment Left Under His Videos: “This man looks like science”
- At the last count, Poliakoff had 27 letters after his name, and as such requires a passport printed on A3 card and an airport Toblerone placename when attending conferences.
- He is a pioneer and leading expert in the concept of ‘Green Chemistry’, which is about finding environmentally safe ways to mass produce chemicals, and not
working out why frogs are that colour.
- When the new five pound note came out, he tested their supposed indestructability by freezing one in liquid nitrogen and bashing it with a hammer (it broke) and then pouring nitric acid over another (it faded). This proved conclusively that he has a better job than yours.
- His brother is famous screenwriter Stephen Poliakoff. They have yet to collaborate on a chemistry + drama mash-up, but we wait with bated breath.
- The descendent of Russian refugees who fled the revolution, he is a passionate advocate for refugee rights and contributed an intro to the fund-raising Over Land, Over Sea poetry anthology. We salute this very much.
- He is a former Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, which is a role older than the Government office of state. Needless to say, he did a better job than Boris bloody Johnson is doing.
- To be fair, a dead rat on a stick smeared in rancid honey could do a better job than Boris Johnson.
- He once calculated that the FIFA World Cup could not be made of solid gold as it would be too heavy to lift. Not that anyone from England will ever get a chance to try.
- He is a Beestonian through and through, a great, involved member of the community. We salute you Prof Poliakoff!
Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff