Richard Robinson

Talks and Books

My training as a busker comes in handy when presenting science. Bringing up my children was an education for me in what kids know and don’t know. The Science Festival has put me in touch with new ideas and expert communicators. I hope the result is entertaining and effective. See the quotes and videos.
I also host workshops for school children (see here).

science  magic logo sm

Science Magic

And there’s more! New shows are constantly emerging – see a full list of fresh young things and pre-loved shows from the past… click here


My Manager and Other Animals

Evolution happens in business as well as in animals. Certain super-sleek corporations bear a striking resemblance to a slime mould, the simplest life form on Earth. Progressing through evolution, from slime to sponge to frog, we see more and more parallels until, by the time amphibians are crawling out of their swamps onto dry land, all the necessary conditions for life as a multinational are in place. Yes, global conglomerates are simpler than you ever thought, but like simple organisms, they have a deceptively elaborate crust. Buy the book; book the talk. (Ages 16 and up). Read more…


Why The One You Fancy Never Fancies You

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. That’s why we are so willing, so often, to throw ourselves at it so completely. Murphy’s Laws explain the tricks our desperate minds pull when trying to cope with loeurve, from the first stumbling steps to the throes of full-blown obsession. Aimed at 12-18 year-olds, this talk has been seen and approved by PSHE teachers in Sussex. It is linked to the book of the same name, published by Constable and Robinson. (Ages 12 and up).


Why The Toast Always Lands Butter-Side Down

Murphy’s Law is the most important law in science: “Whatever CAN go wrong WILL go wrong”. Why does your queue go slowest? Why do buses go round in threes? Why DOES that toast always land butter-side down? There are many weirdnesses to be explained, and the explanations show that the world is often counter-intuitive. Science has the task of sorting out reality from illusion. The book of the same name is published by Constable & Robinson. (Ages 11 and up).


Are We Nearly Here Yet?

From the Big Bang to Bognor in 13.72 minutes – that’s one minute per billion years. Science is now able to map our incredible journey through time with reasonable certainty; how the Earth was formed, how life appeared and how it evolved to become the present day’s kaleidoscope of plants and animals. Three themes: Catastrophe, Chaos and Cooperation. How we survived catastrophe, how we use the chaos to our advantage, and the importance of cooperation. (Ages 10 and up).


Practical Jokes and Pub Tricks

For young ones, a never ending stream of Gotchas, gags and gadgets, trick-or-treat tricks and April Fools follies. For older ones, well it’s the same but set in a pub. The real trick is that in order to learn the trick you have to pick up some science. Sometimes it’s physics or chemistry, sometimes it’s psychology (the science of magic). Practical Jokes book by Constable and Robinson. (Ages 9 and up).


Kitchen Konjuring

Never have kitchens been messed up in a better cause. These simple tricks demonstrate in a comical and safe way the basics of chemistry and some of its history. Everyone, including the grown-ups, learns something new in an action-packed hour. The four Science Magic books (see above) contain over 130 magic tricks. (Ages 7 and up).


Sense and Sensibility

We look at the whole business of perception – how we see, how we hear and how we get it wrong. We discover that sometimes ‘black’ is actually white, ‘up’ is down and ‘in’ is out. We find that there are more than five senses; there are more than fifteen! It’s a white-knuckle ride through your own mind.(Ages 7 and up).


The Big G

Use gravity to defy gravity. The session teaches the audience a dozen magic tricks. In learning how they work, we learn about gravity: what keeps satellites in orbit, what keeps us all stuck to the planet, and most important, what keeps an audience on the edge of their seats. The books are out of print, but search the internet for “Science Magic Richard Robinson” and you’ll find them on sale for a penny or so. (Ages 5 upwards)