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Episode 11 - Randall Munroe
Welcome back to a very special one-off episode of the Pint of Science podcast, bridging the admittedly quite lengthy gap between our first and second seasons.
We were absolutely thrilled when today’s guest let us know they could find an hour to join us in the Salutation Pub in Manchester. If you’ve an interest in science and access to the internet, there’s a pretty high probability that you’ve heard of Randall Munroe, author and creator of the hilarious and incredibly informative webcomic xkcd.
Beginning in 2005 as some notebook doodles scanned and uploaded to a website, xkcd quickly gained an impressive following. Today, with its scientific, sarcastic and often very insightful look at the world, xkcd can count amongst its many many fans the fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and actor Will Wheaton. Along with pretty much every proud geek on the face of the planet.
Not content with just creating a world-dominating webcomic, Randall has also written several best-selling books. 2014’s ‘What If’ offered real scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions. This was followed in 2015, by Thing Explainer, in which Randall explained some of the most complex scientific concepts using only the one thousand most common words in the English language. Fast forward to 2019 and as of September, Randall’s newest book ‘How to’ is available, flipping the concept behind ‘What If’ on its head to offer absurd scientific advice for common real-world problems.