Chemistry’s Indian road trip

September 29th, 2010

The international appeal of the School of Chemistry’s award-winning Periodic Table of Videos project was highlighted when one of its stars — Prof Martyn Poliakoff – visited India this summer.

Prof Poliakoff travelled to India to speak at the Asian Science Camp 2010, which brought together young scientists from across the continent. They attend lectures and meet some of the top scholars in their field  — including Nobel Prize winners.

Video journalist Brady Haran accompanied Prof Poliakoff — known as ‘The Professor’ on the chemistry videos that have been watched more than 13 million times via the project’s website and its YouTube channel.

The result is a series of videos tracking their journey and introducing the characters they met along the way.

“I’ve come here because I like talking to young people and it seemed a really good opportunity to meet some of the brightest students in chemistry from across the world,” Prof Poliakoff, a lecturer in green chemistry at the University, told his viewers. “But it’s also an opportunity to meet fellow scientists, to set up new partnerships and collaborations.”

The visit schedule was jam-packed. As well as lecturing and meeting students and scientists, Prof Poliakoff also visited Mumbai’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance research facility and met with Nobel Prize-winning chemist Prof Richard Ernst. Watch the video to discover what an expert in green chemistry and a world leader in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy talk about when they get together…

The Professor also found himself a popular subject for photographs at the event — and gave away one of his trademark periodic table ties.

“Everyone wanted my photograph. Even one of the chefs from the restaurant wanted his photograph taken with me,” he said. “I think it’s because I look so silly.”

Watch the videos from The Professor’s visit to India at or

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