Kroto Research Inspiration

Two years ago today, Sir Harry Kroto died.

If you do not know who I am referring to, that’s ok, we can’t all know everyone but if you don’t know, I urge you to rectify that –

I first met Harry in 2014 when he and his wife, Margaret came on one of their annual visits to the University.  Harry and Margaret are alumni and true friends of the University.  I thought today that I would take the opportunity to tell you about their legacy of inspiration and to challenge you to consider some of Harry’s more famous quotes and what they could mean for you in your work.


Harry & Margaret are massive advocates of the creative communication of research and outreach by scientists, particularly to young people.

Launched in 2015, ‘Kroto Research Inspiration’, is a hub for encouraging the sharing of research – there are competitions, events, outreach activity and showcasing of researcher talent

As the judging panel meet this week, I want to highlight to you, the ‘Prize for Innovative Use of Technology in Science Learning’.  The prize is awarded annually to students aged 11-18, from any school in the world, for the best video about any Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics subject matter.

As you know from previous blogs, it is generally agreed that researchers should produce videos, yet we always struggle to get submissions to our Kroto ‘my research story’ video competition – given there is also a financial incentive, I am baffled.  In a bid to help drive up competition, I thought I’d highlight the ‘have a go’ approach of these young people in the hope it might inspire others.

Conversation starters
I also give to you, a selection of Harry’s famous words – perhaps they will inspire you in your communications (or other aspects of your work):

“Why play at play, I thought, when you could play at work?”

“Scientific discoveries matter much more when they’re communicated simply and well – if you can’t explain your work to the man in the pub, what’s the point?”

“I think the most important thing that young people should be taught at school is how they can decide what they’re being told is true.”

“We live in a world economically, socially, and culturally dependent on science not only functioning well, but being wisely applied.”


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