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US boy meets scientist Martyn Poliakoff in Nottingham

Dec 21, 2018 by

An eight-year-old boy from California took a 12-hour detour to meet his science hero.

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Ajay Sawant met YouTube star Sir Martyn Poliakoff in Nottingham before heading with his family on holiday to Mumbai in India.

Prof Poliakoff, based at the University of Nottingham, showed the science superfan how to make a glowstick and create reactions using dry ice.

Ajay’s mother Anjli said it was “a dream come true” for her son.

Prof Poliakoff, who has spent nearly 40 years in Nottingham and was knighted in 2014 for services to chemistry, has garnered millions of views on YouTube with his videos on elements and the periodic table.

The Periodic Table of Videos first appeared on the site in 2008 and has more than 1.1 million subscribers.

Ms Sawant said her son’s fascination with the series meant that meeting his hero came top of his Christmas wishlist.

“Ajay can’t stop talking chemistry to anyone who will listen and surprises them with how much he has learned from the videos,” she said.

“We are so grateful and excited we could make this Christmas wish come true for him.”Prof Poliakoff – whose brother is celebrated playwright and director Stephen Poliakoff – said it was “wonderful” to meet Ajay, who he described as “clearly a scientist in the making”.

“Chemistry is by its very nature both fascinating and exciting and knowing that the videos which we are making are helping to inspire people across the world to find out more about this amazing subject gives us a real buzz and makes it all worthwhile,” he said.

Source: US boy meets scientist Martyn Poliakoff in Nottingham – BBC News

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