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Professor of Public Understanding of Science, University of Brighton

Professor Hal holds a Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Brighton. He was the first scientists ever to be allowed to do explosive demonstrations in the House of Commons in in 2011. Unlike Guido Fawkes Hal's explosives *did* work. .

He has an international reputation for performing high-end exhibition science, most recently at the All Russia Science Festival in Moscow and the Abu Dhabi Festival of Science. He has also toured Europe extensively.

He has a wide spectrum of science-on-television appearances, including children’s television where he co-presented the lab on ITV’s Ministry of Mayhem and BBC’s Bright Sparks, on which he had his own science slot. He has also appeared on mainstream science programmes such as BBC4’s The Volatile History of Chemistry, BBC2’s Rocket Science, National Geographic’s The Mystery Files, BBC’s History Cold Case and BBC’s Science Britannia. He is the man Brian Cox asks for chemistry advice (no, really).He is the resident Science Boffin (how I hate that expression) for several local radio stations, Radio 4’s Broadcasting House and ITV’s Meridian News. He is/was Science Consultant for: Big Brother (Endemol TV), Only Fools on Horses (Endemol TV) Adventure Island (RDF Television) and Science Changed My Life (Outline Productions). He also consults for the Science Museum Live! Brainiac Live show, and has an international reputation for running live science. He is particularly keen on facilitating the facilitators: see his series: Demonstrating Chemistry - Spectacular Experiments. (search for ‘Hal’)

Most recently he was science consultant for CBBC’s BAFTA-winning programme Operation Ouch!.

He has a BSc and PhD in chemistry from the University of London and an MBA and MA (Marketing) from the University of Brighton. he is currently reading the Common Professional Examination in Law and a Diploma in Occupational Health. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, twice awarded the University of Brighton Teaching Excellence Award and thrice the University of Brighton Innovation Award. He was made the 2005 Higher Education Academy Teaching Fellow and awarded the 2008 Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chemistry.

Teaches pharmaceutical chemistry, radio chemistry economics and accountancy.


  • –present
    Professor of Public Understanding of Science , University of Brighton


  • 1991 
    London, Royal Holloway, PhD Chemistry