This month one of our stories started a wider conversation about the value, or otherwise, of explosions in chemistry outreach. Do we over rely on flashes and bangs or do chemistry bangs beget engagement?


  1. The story begins with David Smith (@professor_dave) of York reading our latest Last retort on a nostalgic look back at a planned explosion that never quite happened. Smith took exception to the opening sentence 'In my opinion, any chemical lecture is greatly enhanced by an explosion' and took to twitter to discuss his feelings...
  2. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, Matthew Hartings had divided feelings, as it seemed, did the majority of the commenters who followed
  3. And so the debate began...
  4. Andrew Holding, who had recently joined Smith on stage at the Royal Institution joined in and there was a little mutual appreciation and a cracking line credited to Andrea Sella
  5. Seneska joined in suggesting her ideal demo, we're not sure about the sugar comment by the way - have you seen the energy small children have?
  6. At which point we suggested the hastag #chemexplosions be used  for the discussion and the debate really began