Ghosts in the Machine

Everyone has an opinion about ghosts. Although they don’t realise it, more people have a belief in the supernatural than would accept other aspects of the paranormal, such as extra-sensory perception (ESP), cryptozoology (Big Foot, etc), or extraterrestrial life visiting us in UFOs. Why do I say that? Well we live in a largely non-secular world. If someone is religious in any way, they will likely believe in gods, angels, or an afterlife of some sort. These ‘supernatural’ beliefs of a spirit nature are not concepts often aligned with science. The supernatural falls under the blanket of the ‘paranormal’, which just means stuff that science can’t explain yet, or falls out of the usual methods of rigourous experimentation. This is a subject perceived as unscientific. So of course, I created a science show about it.

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Jonny’s Big Little Show

I do lots of science communication things; busking science out of my pockets, facilitating hands-on workshops and delivering demo-based shows. As time has gone by, I’ve picked up and developed performance skills from many quarters. Some of those have been science theatre professionals, such as David Hall; Others may have come from production backgrounds, like Lindsay Keith and Jonathan Sanderson. There have been storytellers like Jules Pottle and Duncan Yellowlees; specialist teachers like Sarah Bearchell and Paul McCrory as well as magicians like Matt Pritchard. The list of people who have influenced how I present science is vast. How do I measure the impact made on my performances by people like science busker David Price, poet Sam Illingworth, rapper Jon Chase, or comedian Steve Cross? Basically, if we’ve worked together or I’ve watched you teach, train or perform, you’ve influenced me!

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