Books

Stuff Matters 

I published a book called Stuff Matters in 2013. It is a guide to the material world, and the science, history, engineering, and culture that underpins it. It was a New York Times Best Seller and has been translated into 24 languages: Arabic, Basque, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (Complex), Chinese (Simplified), Czech, Estonian, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Mongolian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese .

Stuff Matters was the winner of the Royal Society Book Prize 2014

Stuff Matters was the winner of the Physics World Book of the Year 2014

Stuff Matters was the winner of the US National Academies 2015 Communication Award

Reviews

Oliver Sacks: “I stayed up all night reading this book. Miodownik writes with such knowledge, such enthusiasm, such palpable love for his subject”

Bill Gates: “I’m pleased to report that he is a witty, smart writer who has a great talent for imparting his love of this subject.”

Alice Roberts: “An ode to material science. Miodownik delves into the molecules and history of metal, paper, concrete and chocolate, finding poetry and beauty in the details. It’s also about the ingenuity of humankind, the unique ability of humans to understand the materials around us, and to manipulate them “

The Financial Times: “Stuff Matters shows that a significant new talent has arrived in the ranks of popular science authors.”

The Sunday Times: “A jaunty guide to things we take for granted, such as stainless steel, makes the most everyday seem thrilling.”

The Observer: “..deftly written, immensely enjoyable little book.”

The Times: “..a British brainbox with highly evolved sense of justice and not a bad sense of humour..”

The Guardian: “If anybody can put real impetus into George Osborne’s call for a “march of the makers” it must be him: the very model of a modern materials man.” Full reivew here.

Liquid

Liquid (also published as Liquid Rules in the USA)

In 2018 I published a book called Liquid. The book describes the Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives. It is published worldwide in 14 languages including Chinese (Complex), Chinese (Simplified), German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese.

LIQUID was one of the Financial Times Books of the Year 2018.

LIQUID was short-listed for the 2018 Royal Society Science Book Prize

Reviews

Guardian: “like a perfectly made cup of tea, it is warm, comforting and very refreshing”. Full review here.

Sunday Times: “hugely enjoyable”. Full review here.

Nature: “sparkling investigation of liquids is an interesting and readable volume, that avoids distracting our chemist reviewer with ‘mischaracterized or oversimplified details”. Full review here.

Financial Times: “Building the book around the experiences that most readers will have experienced during long-distance flights is an original and entertaining way of structuring the narrative”. Full review here.

Jim Al-Khalili: ‘Miodownik packs this delightful book with so much ‘well, I never knew that’ information. Not only does he know his stuff but, just as importantly, he knows how to tell a good story. A truly delightful read”

Philip Ball: “It’s a little known fact that liquids are the coolest state of matter. And if anyone can spread that message all around him, it’s Mark Miodownik. From ink to saliva, coffee to soap, this is an exhilarating, eye-opening ride.”

It’s a Gas

My new book called It’s a Gas will be published July 11th 2024, Preorder here

Why are most gases invisible, odourless and tasteless? Why do some poison us and others make us laugh? And why do some power our engines while others make drinks fizzy? In It’s a Gas, Mark Miodownik masterfully reveals an invisible world through his unique brand of scientific storytelling.

Taking us back to that exhilarating – and often dangerous – moment when scientists tried to work out exactly what they had discovered, Miodownik shows that gases are the formative substances of our modern world, each with its own weird and wonderful personality.

We see how seventeenth-century laughing gas parties led to the first use of anaesthetics in surgery, how the invention of the air valve in musical instruments gave us bicycles, cars and trainers, and how gases made us masters of the sea (by huge steamships) and skies (via extremely flammable balloons). This delight of a book reveals the immense importance of gases to modern civilisation.

Reviews

“It’s not just a gas, it’s a blast. A brilliant, bracing journey though the past, present and future of the invisible stuff you can’t see, but is everywhere. Read this book and you’ll never see, smell or inhale the world quite the same again” — Ed Conway, author of Material World

“Hugely enjoyable. From the bouncy castle to poison gas, from The Wizard of Oz to cappuccinos, this book has it all: plenty of belly laughs, but also warnings about the state of our world “– Andrea Sella, chemist and broadcaster

“An exhilarating journey through the invisible wonders that shape our world. With seamless storytelling and scientific flair, Mark unveils the captivating personalities of gases that fizz, pop, numb, smell, warm, and soar, illuminating the extraordinary role they play in our lives” — Roger Highfield, Science Director at the Science Museum

“Mark Miodownik is an exceptionally talented scientist, writer and communicator, and in this book he brings the invisible world of gas to vivid, visible life “– Sophie Scott, author of The Brain: 10 Things You Should Know