Water - the strangest chemical in the universe

Water may seem ordinary – it pours from our taps and falls from the sky – but you would be surprised at what a profoundly strange substance it is.

Alok Jha (Photo: Neil Harvey)

It expands when it cools; hot water freezes faster than cold water; it defies the usual rules of chemistry. Without its rebel behaviour, though, none of us would exist.

We should change the way we look at our most ordinary substance. Water has shaped life on Earth, we look for it on other planets as a potential sign of life and this simple molecule connects you and everyone else to the birth (and death) of the universe.

Alok Jha is a science journalist, author of the Water book and broadcaster focusing on stories about science. He is the science correspondent at ITV News. Before that, he spent a decade at the Guardian and made programmes for BBC.

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This talk is in cooperation with the Natural History Museum and Tenketanken Tau. Adam Rutherfrod is in Norway to give a workshop in science communication for master and PhD students at ForBio research school.


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Tags: Scientific communication, Science Debate, Biology
Published Sep. 3, 2015 12:09 PM - Last modified Sep. 4, 2015 9:28 AM