News and Events

Some news!

My latest book, Vampirology; The Science of Horror’s Most Famous Fiend, will be published June 2021!

Our fascination with the vampire myth has scarcely diminished since Bram Stoker’s publication of the classic Dracula tale in 1897, but how much of that lore is based on fact and can science explain the origins of horror’s most famous fiend? Vampirology charts the murky waters of the vampire myth – from stories found in many cultures across the globe to our sympathetic pop-culture renditions today – to investigate how a scientific interpretation may shed light on the fears and the phenomenon of the vampire myth.

“As compulsively readable as a bloated undead feasting on a fresh corpse, this is an absolute must for all children of the night out there. 

The blood is the life!”

Mark Gatiss

“Kathryn Harkup has examined a fascinating corner of popular (or should I say ancient?) culture then applied sound scientific principles and knowledge to create a bloody good read!”

Professor Mark Lorch, chemist, writer and science communicator, University of Hull

Events

The Darker Side of Plants

This new series of talks explores the Darker Side of Plants – the marvels, mysteries, and murderous nature of the plant world – from fact to fantasy and fiction.

Malevolent Medicines

10 am, Tuesday 15th June 2021 – online

Attitudes to human health have changed a lot over the centuries but plants have always been central to medicine. Kathryn will explore how some plants have been exploited for medicinal use – though not always to the benefit of the patient.

As Paracelsus wrote ‘All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities. It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.’ …..One man’s medicine is another man’s poison.

This ticket is for this individual session and costs £5, and you may purchase tickets for other individual sessions via the links below, or you may purchase a ticket for the entire course of 8 sessions at a cost of £32 via the link here.

Poisonous Plants and Agatha Christie

10am, Tuesday 29th June 2021 – online

Agatha Christie is well known for her brilliant whodunnits full of meticulous plotting and scientific accuracy. The Queen of Crime was also a keen gardener and combined her extensive knowledge of toxicology and passion for plants in several of her murder mystery plots. She was well versed in the subtle art of poisoning and the toxic effects of the poisons used. This talk looks at some of those plants and their poisons. Just because it’s fiction doesn’t mean it’s made up.

This ticket is for this individual session and costs £5, and you may purchase tickets for other individual sessions via the links below, or you may purchase a ticket for the entire course of 8 sessions at a cost of £32 via the link here.

Other news

Death by Shakespeare has been listed in BBC Science Focus as one of their top ten books for March!

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. Death by Shakespeare is published! Your can order here.

About

Science communicator, chemist & vampirologist.

Kathryn is a chemist and author. She completed a doctorate on her favourite chemicals, phosphines, and went on to further postdoctoral research before realising that talking, writing and demonstrating science appealed a bit more than hours slaving over a hot fume-hood. She writes and gives regular public talks on the disgusting and dangerous side of science.

Kathryn’s first book was the international best-seller A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie, which was shortlisted for a Mystery Readers International Macavity Award and a BMA Book Award. She has also written Making the Monster: The Science of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Her third book, Death by Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts is out in March 2020.

Contact

If you would like to book me for a talk or just want to say Hi please fill in the form below or get in touch on Twitter @RotwangsRobot.