University of Sussex Media Release.
. Big bangs at the University of Sussex

16 June 2000
For immediate release

A University of Sussex scientist will be experimenting with humans for the purpose of a lecture at the Falmer campus next week.

Members of the audience will be turned into chemicals and compounds (by wearing the appropriate T-shirts) and instructed to react with each other for Professor Phil Parsons' 'Fun in Chemistry' lecture on 20 June.

The event, which takes place in Chichester Lecture Theatre, will also feature dramatic explosions with gunpowder and phosphorus, and a 'cascade reaction', in which 24 balloons will be ignited in quick succession.

Professor Parsons, who is a professor of organic chemistry, will be using his inventive approach to explain the importance of chemistry in our daily lives, from the discovery of new drugs to the interaction between our genetic make-up and the chemicals we encounter every day.

He said: 'Chemistry is an exciting and relevant area of study and I want to demonstrate this in my lecture.' Local schools and colleges have been invited to attend and Professor Parsons hopes to show the children just how fun chemistry can be.

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact Harriet Sexton, Press and Communications Office, University of Sussex, tel. 01273 678888, fax 01273 877456, email

The lecture will be held in the Chichester Lecture Theatre at the University of Sussex on Tuesday 20 June 2000. It will start at 6.30pm. It is a public lecture and open to everyone. If members of the public wish to attend please contact Chrissie Anthony on 01273 678888.

Philip Parsons came to Sussex in 1995 and is currently Dean of the School of Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. He has held appointments as Visiting Professor (Rome), Eli Lilly Lecturer at Ohio State University and has been invited as Visiting Professor at the University of Caen. He is a director of Tocris Cookson Ltd and has a large and active research group funded mainly through links with the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.

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