Helen Arney and Steve Mould - The Element in the Room - Octopus

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The Element in the Room

Science-y Stuff Staring You in the Face

By Helen Arney and Steve Mould

  • Hardback
  • £16.99

Let the brains behind the hugely successful Festival of the Spoken Nerd take you on a rib-tickling, experiment-fuelled adventure to explain the everyday science staring you in the face.

Let the brains behind the hugely successful Festival of the Spoken Nerd take you on a rib-tickling, experiment-fuelled adventure to explain the everyday science staring you in the face.



'Made me go Hydrogen Argon, Hydrogen Argon, Hydrogen Argon.' Rufus Hound

As featured in Best stocking-filler books of 2017 - The Guardian

'Witty and clever writing, every topic is engaging, fun and in some cases laugh-out-loud funny...there are too many highlights to mention' - How it Works



  • Why is it impossible to spin your right foot clockwise while you draw a 6 with your right hand?

  • Can you extract DNA from a strawberry daiquiri?

  • Would you make love like a praying mantis?

  • Should you book a holiday on Earth 2.0?


The Element in the Room will take you on a rib-tickling, experiment-fuelled adventure to explain everyday science that is staring you in the face. If you are sci-curious, pi-curious or just the-end-is-nigh-curious then this is the book for you.

Steve Mould and Helen Arney are two thirds of science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd. As a trio they have appeared on QI, created their own experimental* comedy show 'Domestic Science' for Radio 4, toured their stand-up science shows to over 50,000 nerds (and non-nerds) and accumulated millions of views on YouTube.

'These nerds are the real deal' - Ben Goldacre, author of BAD SCIENCE

'They make science fun and understandable which is a great combo.' Sandi Toksvig

'MIND BLOWN.' Tim Harford

'Science was never such hilarious explosive fun.' Richard Herring

'This book is 37% better than mine. But it took 100% more nerds to write it.' Matt Parker (the other third of Spoken Nerd)

Biographical Notes

Festival of the Spoken Nerd are a live comedy group who can be found bang in the middle of the comedy/science Venn diagram. They're best known for bringing electrifying live experiments, songs and spreadsheets to sold-out stages all over the UK in their unique, interactive, laugh-a-minute shows. They have their own Radio 4 programme called Domestic Science, and have appeared on QI three times.

Steve Mould
From mind-bending tricks on BBC1's Britain's Brightest to delving into our scientific heritage in ITV1's I Never Knew That About Britain, Steve describes himself as a jack of all scientific trades and master of none. He is the maker of mathematical curios, creator of illusions and poster of quirky science experiments on YouTube which have gained 2 million hits. Steve has made guest appearances on The One Show, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Sunday Brunch, Absolute Radio and BBC Radio 5Live. He was also the Science Presenter on Blue Peter "back in the day" and hasn't stopped going on about it since.

Helen Arney
As well as twice touring her science-infused comedy songs around the UK with Robin Ince, Prof. Brian Cox and Tim Minchin in Uncaged Monkeys, Helen has appeared on Stewart Lee's Alternative Comedy Experience, smashed a wine glass with her voice live on Blue Peter and serenaded Jon Snow on Channel 4 News. As the UK's premiere geek songstress she's performed everywhere from the Edinburgh Fringe to Google's head office in California. Helen also presents science on BBC2 Coast, Discovery Channel's Outrageous Acts Of Science and has filled several notebooks with rhymes for "Uranus".

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844039722
  • Publication date: 05 Oct 2017
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Cassell
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