Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto
This Molecular World

Speaker Profile:

Sir Martyn Poliakoff - From Test Tube to YouTube

Martyn Poliakoff

This talk tells a story of something which came as a complete surprise to Sir Martyn Poliakoff. It explains how his participation in making some videos for the University of Nottingham’s YouTube channel led to his collaboration with a very talented video-journalist Brady Haran and the creation of the YouTube channel, The Periodic Table of Videos. This began as a collection of 120 videos (one for each of the 118 elements of the Periodic Table, plus an introduction and a trailer). Quickly, it gathered momentum and now it has uploaded more than 600 videos with more than 900,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 1.5 million views in over 200 countries. Prof. Poliakoff will outline how the concept has evolved and suggest tentatively how the channel came to be successful in communicating our love of chemistry across the world.


Professor Martyn Poliakoff obtained his B.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1973) from King's College, Cambridge, under the supervision of J. J. Turner FRS on the Matrix Isolation of Large Molecules. He is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, where he leads the EPSRC/HEFCE Science & Innovation project DICE, Driving Innovation in Chemistry & Engineering, which is promoting research collaboration between chemists and chemical engineers at Nottingham and beyond. Professor Poliakoff is additionally an Honorary Professor of Chemistry at Moscow State University, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (2002), of the RSC (2002) and of the IChemE (2004) and awarded CBE for “Services to Sciences” in the 2007/8 New Year Honours. The principal areas of his research are supercritical fluids, continuous reactions and their applications to Green Chemistry.