Water: weirdest chemical in the universe

Monday 12th October 2015 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00

Alok Jha, Science Correspondent ITV News

The Infinite Monkey Cage and
Dara O Briain’s Science Club

Imperial Alumnus and author of The Water Book

Water is so common as to seem boring. But this is a profoundly strange substance, which defies the normal rules of chemistry. It has shaped the Earth, its life, our civilisation and it has a surprising origin - outer space. This is a story which takes us back to the beginning of the universe and connects you to everything and everyone else.

Alok Jha is a journalist, author and broadcaster. He is ITV's Science Correspondent, reporting on everything from space to stem cells.

He has broadcast live from Antarctica and flown in a zero-gravity plane normally used to train astronauts. Before that, he spent a decade at the Guardian and made programmes for the BBC. He is a physics alumnus from Imperial.

In The Water Book, Alok Jha takes us on a dual journey. First, a physical one as we join him on an expedition to Antarctica, where the power and importance of water is made manifest in the great ice fields, icebergs and world-shaping weather systems of the Southern Ocean. And secondly, on a parallel scientific voyage that will take us from the origins of water in the Big Bang, through the beginnings of life on Earth, the shaping of human civilisations and then back out into space as water becomes the key marker in our search for life in the Solar System and beyond.

The Water Book will change the way you look at this ordinary substance. Afterwards, you will hold a glass of water up to the light and see within it the strangest chemical, something that connects you to everything and everyone else in the universe.


"It delights again and again because, as in all the best science writing, the tale is stranger and more curious than one could ever imagine."Stephen Curry, the Guardian.

"Alok Jha is one of the brightest young science writers around...He belongs to a select band of science communicators, and knows his science at a deep level and can put it across." Peter Forbes, The Independent.

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Venue: SAF Building, Imperial College London

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