Kit Chapman was born in Southampton, UK, moved to Hong Kong as a kid, went to boarding school, left boarding school, and has fallen into random adventures and misadventures ever since. His passion for science has taken him to research projects on six continents, acting as a first-hand witness to some of the world’s most incredible scientific achievements.
For the past 10 years Kit has set out to visit as many scientifically interesting locations as possible, always opting for the most ecologically sound way to travel that’s practicable. This has taken Kit all around the world, from stunning sites of geological and environmental importance to the high-tech world of cutting edge nuclear physics. A few of the visited hotspots are charted on the map below.
- Kit’s main companion is Gamera, an eleven-year-old Horsfield tortoise whose hobbies include eating dandelions, basking under his heat lamp and rampaging under the computer desk. Gamera is distrustful of courgettes but loves cuddles and exploring
- Kit completed the London Marathon in 2013 to avoid spending all his money at a wargaming expo going on at the same time
- Kit’s favourite element is either boron (because it’s weird), bismuth (because it’s pretty) or oganesson (because he knows the person it’s named after)
- Kit has seen the world’s rarest element, been inside the world’s fastest supercomputer and seen the world’s most powerful magnet
- Kit grew up in the village where Howards’ Way was filmed (a drama from the 1980s about the world of competitive speedboats) and is the resting place of the inspiration for ‘M’ in the James Bond movies
- Kit once scored a goal against the men’s Danish national football team
- Kit won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s fancy dress competition by turning up as Princess Elsa from Frozen
- Kit briefly held the world record for the tallest tower of Lego
- Kit was the substitute on the University Challenge team that scored the lowest total in the show’s history
- Kit once got a job by relaying a really geeky chemistry joke hidden in the movie The Silence of the Lambs.
Obviously, when writing a book, mistakes creep in. I have to own these, as much as I don’t want to! For Superheavy, the majority of errors were corrected for the paperback version. However, in Racing Green there is a huge error that could be very misleading.
In the dust jacket (and indeed in a lot of promotional material) it states that I worked with the Virgin Formula E team on the materials science and chemistry of their cars. This is a typo! It should be ‘worked with the Virgin Formula E team for an article on the materials science and chemistry of their cars’. I have never worked in motorsport, and can only apologise that this crept in; I only saw the dust jacket once during production and missed it.
The article, for those interested, is here. Again, please accept my apologies: this is a genuine error and in just about the worst sentence imaginable.
What *isn’t* a mistake, although several people have assumed it was, is that I found out about Senna’s death on the morning of 2 May, 1994. While the race took place on the afternoon of 1 May in Europe, I was living in Hong Kong at the time: being seven hours ahead of Italy, the race didn’t begin until after my 9pm bedtime.