Physics lecturer in 24-hour science marathon for Children in Need


Charity duo Tim and Pudsy.

A University of Sheffield Physics lecturer has been working around the clock to raise money for Children in Need in a 24-hour science-a-thon of back to back lectures.

Tim Richardson, who specialises in nano-science, hosted the lectures on November 17 and 18, teaching students non stop and going the whole 24 hours without sleep.

“I’m a terrible sleeper,” said Richardson. “I’m like Margaret Thatcher and sleep only about four hours per night.

“I am worried about keeping a reasonably strong voice and not coughing and spluttering too much. I’ve just had a chest infection and asthma, so I am a bit worried about that.”

His lectures included the science behind Harry Potter, ‘How Cool Things Work’, astronomy, aliens and how to make ice cream from liquid nitrogen.

Richardson said: “The lectures were aimed at a wide range of people. “They were colour coded green, yellow and red for the scientific knowledge they require, so we really did have something for everyone.”

More than 400 primary school children also joined in the fun, taking part in their own specially designed lecture with a little help from Pudsey Bear.

The lectures, situated in the Hicks Building, offered both tickets and an all-access wristband for all of the lectures.

All proceeds will be going to charity, which totalled at £1600 in sponsorship for Tim and his students even before tickets went on sale.

“It was originally an idea I had a few years ago but kept quiet,” said Richardson. “Then when Loui asked for something towards Children In Need it just splurted out. Now was the right time for various reasons.”

“We all go round thinking we have problems, but there are kids who are ill, there are kids that are in poverty, there are kids getting mistreated – these kids have problems, not us,” said Richardson.

“We should all try to do something to help them.”

Refreshments and entertainment such as dancing and cake stalls were also on offer to science enthusiasts.

The event is only the latest charity fundraiser held by the department, including an annual art exhibition for a different charity.

The department have also supported Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and ASSIST Sheffield with fundraising events.


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