Professor Brian Cox Live | A Review?

23 May 2017


I have a confession to make. I'm a giant freaking nerd. There, I said it. Science is, and always has been, one of the things that has absolutely captivated me. I remember when I was younger, my brother got given a telescope as a present and I was extremely jealous, but also joined him and my dad while using it to look at the moon - and one of my most vivid memories of this time was looking at the moon and seeing these string like ... things bouncing about. ALIENS!!!! I thought.

It was my hair.

My true passion might surprise you, especially as it's not a career path I've managed to go down. Volcanoes. I love volcanoes. In fact, one of my firm believes is that we take the Earth for granted each and every day, yet as soon as it fights back, we run. Volcanoes are gorgeous and magnificent (or should I say... magma-nificent. No? Soz.) Throughout high school, I had too many different career choice changes - from actress, to teacher, to media (director or editor) to Volcanologist. I attempted to crash Higher Physics when I was in Sixth year despite not having studied the subject since I was in S2 (Sixth year (S6) is year 12, Second year (S2) is year 8) and this has, to this day, remained one of my biggest regrets. Had I continued down a path of science, and followed my volcano love then perhaps today I'd be graduating university with a degree in Geology instead of Business and Tourism.

I digress, I just wanted to give some background to my "secret" passion. Anyway, Professor Brian Cox is one of my absolute favourite human beings. (Bold statement. Keanu Reeves is also on this list.) Whenever I watch his programmes, I'm captivated by his words (and beauty) and his enthusiasm for his topics of discussion relight the fire inside me - my desire to understand the world around me. My curiosity and my intrigue.

This isn't a surprise, and in fact, this is actually a major theme of Professor Brian Cox Live 2017 (Brian, if you read this, please give the next one a catchier name!)

I attended the show in Glasgow, on Friday 19th May 2017 with my friend, Andrew. And it was truly one of the best ways I've ever spent a Friday night. I'll be honest, going into the event, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect... I didn't know what the topic was going to be about and didn't look it up anywhere, but I trusted Brian. I put my faith into him that this was going to be worth it. (sidenote, it was pissing down with rain and I nipped into the toilet before I went into the seminar, where two girls were drying off their clothes under the hand drier and all I heard was "oh, Brian, you'd better be worth this!". I chuckled.)

To explain it the best way that I can, without giving away spoilers, is that it's about space. And it's about us. It's about life, intellegence and our Universe. Would you expect anything less? But, to those who have no interest in science, or possibly don't know who Professor Brian Cox even is (trust me, I've talked to a few people recently who were oblivious), this sounds terrible. Well, he was, I suppose aided, by his Infinite Monkey Cage buddy, Robin Ince, a comedian. I'm ashamed to admit that I've heard of their radio show but I've never listened to it - I'll aim to become an avid listener, in my determination to get better at not procrastinating the things that I procrastinate (such as blogging.)

I laughed a lot, and I learned a lot. And I may have had a mild existential crisis, but it was all in the name of curiosity. The chemistry between Brian and Robin was amazing to get to watch, and it really helped to provide a more upbeat feel when contrasted with the tone of "we're all going to die lol" (seriously, how can that man stand and tell you this while smiling?) And it was really great to allow for the seminar to be so interactive, as you're encouraged to tweet Robin your questions which may be answered by Brian later in the show! I didn't tweet in a question because I wasn't sure what I wanted to ask, but the questions that were asked were a mix of humour and curiosity.

This is what's so fascinating about science, it's full of questions, and like they mentioned in the seminar, science will never end! "We won't wake up tomorrow and go 'oh, well that's science finished then.'" What I additionally loved about attending the seminar, was just how informative it was. There were quite a few elements of science that were touched on which I also vaguely understood prior to being told, but the audience was one of all ages - from children to the elderly, and everything is explained in a way which doesn't discriminate your scientific understanding, and additionally, doesn't talk down at you - it's a perfect blend of complexity and simpicity which truly makes me wonder whether or not Brian is actually a wizard. In fact, to carry on this comment, I want to quote something from "Forces of Nature", co written with Andrew Cohen, because it made me genuinely giggle while on my lunch break at work;

"You could think of electrons as little spinning tops, if you like, but that's a bad analogy on many levels, so you probably shouldn't."

If nothing else I say supports my claims of how much of a genius this man is with words, then please let this quote speak for me.

My post is dragging on, and I don't want to risk boring you so I'll condense my thoughts.

If you have curiosity within you - about why the sky is blue, about life on Mars, about just how can ants survive so much hardship, then I urge you to go along and watch this man. Or even just tune into this programmes on tv. Allow yourself to be submerged in bewilderment, and if you're watching his BBC shows, then watch as you travel the world from the comfort of your own living room.

Getting to listen to Brian talk in the same room as me has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, because, it has relit the flame of curiosity within me, and it's helped shape an idea of what I want to do with my life. If you follow me on twitter, you already know that I'm planning on going travelling at either the beginning of next year or, ideally, the end of this year. I wasn't entirely sure on the logistics of what I wanted to do other than "I'm going to Europe and Hawaii. I don't know where in Europe apart from France, but in Hawaii I want to surf and try to do lava sampling or just see an active volcano."

Now, however, I'm considering making my trip science based, perhaps reading some scientific papers, trying to learn equations in my spare time, as well as the languages I'm currently learning on Duolingo, and further my understanding of Geology/Volcanology/Seismology while also having fun travelling. Because the future, for myself, is one in which I can combine Geology and travel in a really fun way, while also teaching others and providing them with an exciting and thrilling experience. I just need to get a business plan finalised but I'm very excited for what the future holds...

So thank you, Professor Brian Cox, and thank you, Robin Ince for travelling the country and allowing us to listen and interact with you both. Thank you for making my Friday night an amazing one!

Let me know if you want me to write more science themed posts because I am bursting with so much energy I might just become a supernova, and I hope I can inspire you in the same way Brian inspires me.

Until next time, be excellent to each other!