Saturday, January 21, 2012

Black Country Gold

Dr Alice RobertsWarwick University would have been too obvious - it's literally just down the road from me (well, a bus ride away), plus I graduated from there myself a mere handful of years ago. The connection would have been too blatant. Too strong. I can see that. She didn't want to give the game away. Flag things up to the media about her true intentions.

So Birmingham was the next logical choice. Close geographically but not too close. The connection is less obvious. She's a canny lass, that Dr Alice. Plainly keeping things close. Playing things sharp.

And I can dig that. I don't, after all, relish the thought of having the press crowding themselves onto my doorstep. Well, not until I find an agent for my novel anyway.

So Dr Alice Roberts has accepted the position of Birmingham University's first Professor of Public Engagement in Science. You can hear what the superlative TV scientist has to say about the appointment here:



You can, I am sure, read between the lines. This isn't about science or even bringing science to the masses. It's not about the grandeur of Birmingham University or even picking up "Birmingum's loveloi ax-sent".

It's about me. About moving closer to me.

You can tell this from everything she doesn't say. The way she doesn't mention that Birmingham is just a simple train journey away from me here in Leamington Spa. That I can be there for coffee and an iced bun in under 45 minutes (unless, of course, I catch a Virgin train in which case I'm looking at about 5 hours provided there isn't a leaf on the track). But you can read it all in her eyes... The barely suppressed excitement at our close proximity. We are like two planets coming into alignment. It's been written in the stars. Even Dr Professor Brian Cox mentioned our coming together in his Stargazing Live programmes for the BBC this week. Don't worry if you missed all the references. You would have had to have been a real science head to have picked them up.

A real science head like me.

See, Professor of Public Engagement in Science is just a dead giveaway. It is a personal clarion call to me. Une Lettre d'amour addressed to yours truly. I can handle a petre dish. I can caress a test tube. I can get a bunsen burner to glow white hot with just a casual flick of my fingers.

I can do science, me, in every sense.

If I'm not around to blog much next week it's because I have taken the fast train to Birmingham.

I am going to be engaging in science. Deeply, madly, truly. I have the goggles and everything.

Dr Alice, I'll meet you in the university cafeteria (or as they say in Birmingham: the caff). You bring your white coat and I'll bring my pipette.

P.S. Note to Stephen Hawking: don't you be getting any funny ideas, matey - I know how to deactivate the disabled chair lifts.



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24 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

You'd better find out if she likes blokes with beards first, I gather many women find them tickly or badgerish. You might have to spray yourself with pheromones or catnip as well.

Marginalia said...

There's life in the old "69er" yet.

Will you be aiming for a 2.1 or a 1 on 1?

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I doubt Iron Aged man had Braun shavers... I bet Dr Alice likes a bit of bristle.

Marginalia: a first would be nice, believe me.

Wylye Girl said...

Steve, come and sit down now. Comfortable? OK. Right, I really, REALLY think you need to speak to somebody about your obsession with Dr Alice - and preferably not Dr Alice herself. Promise me? OK, got to dash. Got a tip off on Professor Brian ......

Jon said...

As a fellow alumni of Bristol University, I feel I shoould have first dibs in meeting her for a bun, but I fear distance puts paid to that.

Besides, have you seen the size of her husband?

Steve said...

Wylye Girl: maybe we could double date? If the doctors ever let us out of this infernal clinic!

Steve said...

Jon: she moved away from Bristol to come to my homeland. Says it all really. As for her husband... the bigger they come the slower they run.

the fly in the web said...

'the bigger they come the slower they run'...you cannot have been watching rugby recently....
Do take care...your followers do not want to have to extract your cap and bells from your nether regions.

Suzanne said...

Dr Brian , I believe lectures at Manchester, just down the road. There is something fascinating about Brian's brain :)

Steve said...

The fly in the web: their removal could be considered a scientific experiment. It would be worth the discomfort if Dr Alice was wielding the forceps.

Suzanne: yes. And Dr Alice's. She has very beautiful cerebral hemispheres.

Löst Jimmy said...

Gorilla Bananas is right I recommend Catnip to aid decisive success ala amour, available in snack form or on prescription from a vet.
If I were not a gentleman I might have quipped, Dr.Alice can examine my bones anytime etc ad nauseum.

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: and I was going to make a joke about pussies liking catnip... I too shall refrain.

Tenon_Saw said...

Are you sure she didn't just want to be closer to Cadbury World?

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: damn. That's a very good point because, at the end of the day, I would.

Being Me said...

You used pipette in a sentence. I am very impressed. Oh, Steve. You are so cute.

The Sagittarian said...

Dr Steve?

Steve said...

Being Me: I've waited years to use it. Years!

Amanda: yes, my wife says I need one.

femminismo said...

Iced bun? That sounds delicious. And so British! I am so happy to hear that you are still quite fabulously funny! (Oh, right; I don't have a science head or I'd know Dr. Alice is really there for you.)

Steve said...

Femminismo: iced buns are quintessentially British, aren't they? Burgers are American but iced buns are British.

As are Curly-wurlies.

Iced buns, Curly-wurlies and Dr Alice. God, I love being British!

Mark said...

I was once abducted by aliens and forced to make love to the said Doctor Alice, five times in one night, or was it six. Evidently she doesn't talk about it - less for fear of ridicule than the knowledge that life will never again be as good.... then I woke up and nobody believed me, but I know you will.

Steve said...

Mark: did you get their intergalactic registration number? Or their mobile number? Can I page them? I'm free most Tuesday nights...!

Steve said...

Mark: P.S. I'm not ignoring your blog - just unable to leave a comment; the page doesn't load but "whites out" completely.

Mark said...

Cn you try again and let me know if the problem persists. As for me I've been whiting out completely for a while, but back to normal soon I hope!

Steve said...

Mark: all seems OK again now!