Kathryn Harkup


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Kathryn Harkup is a chemist and author. Kathryn completed a PhD then a postdoc at the University of York before realising that talking, writing and demonstrating science appealed far more than spending hours slaving over a hot fume-hood. Kathryn went on to run outreach in engineering, computing, physics and maths at the University of Surrey, which involved writing talks on science and engineering topics that would appeal to bored teenagers, and she is now a science communicator delivering talks and workshops on the quirky side of science.

Average rating: 4.05 · 1,370 ratings · 268 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
A is for Arsenic: The Poiso...

4.07 avg rating — 1,152 ratings — published 2015 — 12 editions
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Making the Monster: The Sci...

3.94 avg rating — 218 ratings — published 2018 — 6 editions
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Death by Shakespeare: Snake...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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A comme Arsenic

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“It was claimed that the Borgias spread arsenic on the entrails of a slaughtered pig, which were then left to rot. The resulting mess was gently dried to a powder which they called La Cantarella, a pale solid that was added to food or drink. If the arsenic did not claim the victim, the toxins from the rotting entrails would probably finish them off.”
Kathryn Harkup, A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

“Consequently diamorphine acts more quickly than morphine, and it is therefore far more potent. It makes you feel like a hero, so they called it heroin.”
Kathryn Harkup, A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

“Arsenic-eaters were often found so well preserved, even after twelve years, that they were recognisable to family and friends when they were disinterred. The presence of arsenic in corpses may lie behind some vampire legends, which began in central and eastern Europe.”
Kathryn Harkup, A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie

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