News and Events

Windermere Science FestivalPoisoner’s Dinner

7.30pm Friday 10th May 2024 – Laundrama, Bowness-on-Windermere

Enjoy an Agatha Christie-inspired three-course meal and learn about the chemicals Christie used to kill off her characters.  Christie used poison more than any other crime writer as a murder weapon. Discover the chemical and deliciously devilish characteristics of the poisons she used, and find out which ingredients in the dishes you’re eating have the potential to kill.

Dr Kathryn Harkup, best-selling author of A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie, will shine a light on the science used by the Queen of Crime and offer life-saving tips for avoiding deadly food.

The evening includes a three-course meal from a set menu (vegetarian option available) with talks between courses.    Please advise us in advance of any special dietary requirements.  The menu will be available to view online soon.

Tickets available here

Some News!

The Secret Lives of Molecules

Published 3rd August 2023!

This is not a chemistry book!

What happens when you really get under the skin of the world around you? Everything that surrounds us – and we ourselves – are made of molecules, constructed from a limited set of elements that can combine to form an almost limitless kaleidoscope of possibilities.

Dr Kathryn Harkup reveals the inner lives of the invisible molecules that make up our world, ranging from the fundamental to the frivolous; via the psychedelic effects of caffeine to the deadly march of carbon dioxide emissions. This is a book about the stories of discovery, the quirks of science and of human history that have enhanced our appreciation and understanding of the world.


Science communicator, chemist & vampirologist.

Kathryn is a former 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 explored more of the macabre side of literature in Making the Monster: The Science of Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinDeath by Shakespeare: Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts and Vampirology: The Science of Horror’s Most Famous Fiend. She has also delved into the deadly world of 007 in Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond. Kathryn has also written about her first love, chemistry, in The Secret Lives of the Elements. Her most recent book is a follow up to her exploration of the elements, The Secret Lives of Molecules.


If you would like to book me for a talk or just want to say Hi please fill in the form below.