8 Questions with Dr Matthew Blunt

25 October 2017

This week, meet Dr Matthew Blunt who was appointed in 2012 as a Physical Chemistry whose research focuses on 2D materials.  Let us step back in time and see what he was like as a 16 year old….

1. How old were you when you first realised you were interested in chemistry?

I got a chemistry set for my 11th Birthday and immediately mixed lots of the chemicals together and then set fire to them to see what would happen. This approach has been the blueprint for my research ever since.

2. What made you take up a career in chemistry?

When I realised that someone would actually pay me to spend all day in a lab thinking about science.

3. Who inspired you to take up chemistry and why?

A collective effort by my parents, several science teachers and my PhD supervisor.

4. What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

My postdoctoral work at the University of Nottingham on the self-assembly of random molecular tilings that got me published in Science and Nature Chemistry.

5. What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Dookie (Green Day); South Park the Movie; Consider Phlebas (Iain M Banls).

6. Who would be your dream dinner guests?

All my friends and family would be my first choice, but other than that - Terry Pratchett; Richard Feynman; Jodie Foster; Bill Hicks; and Mary Shelley.

7. What would it surprise people to know about you?

When I was 16 I had spiky green hair and played guitar in a punk band in my hometown. Fortunately, this just pre-dated the arrival of most smart phones and social media so there is almost no photographic evidence.

8. What are your top three things to do/see/go to in London?

Any pub that serves a decent real ale / The Book of Mormon / The British Museum.