I appeared on the front page of Wikipedia today (April 7th 2021). “Did you know?” asked the editors “that Len Fisher won the 1999 Ig Nobel Prize for physics for his research on the optimal way to dunk a biscuit?”
You may or may not have known this. Certainly the story attracted world-wide attention at the time, and even evoked some poetry (https://www.lenfisherscience.com/?s=poem )! But you may also like to know where the story has led me – from avoiding the catastrophe of a wet biscuit falling into a cup of tea to coping with the multitude of genuinely serious catastrophes that the world now faces.
The bits and pieces of that story are scattered through this website, from books (https://www.lenfisherscience.com/books/), articles (https://www.lenfisherscience.com/about-me/) and broadcasts (https://www.lenfisherscience.com/about-me/) to the prizes that I have won. My first book was voted by the American Physical Society as the best popular book by a scientist, and I am particularly proud of having later been a finalist in a $5m global competition to find answers to the governance of globally catastrophic situations (https://www.lenfisherscience.com/the-world-needs-complexity-thinking/).
All of this has come from my efforts to make science accessible, and more a central part of our culture, by sharing how scientists think about problems, from the mundane to the devastating. The idea hit me when I was approached by a publicity company to help them out with “something scientific” for “National Biscuit Dunking Day.” I have been riding the wave ever since, and hope that many ore of my readers will now come surfing with me!
IMAGE: Under Newton’s actual apple tree (Credit: Len Fisher)