Bugs, Drugs and Three-pin Plugs: Everyday Science, Simply Explained

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CRC Press, Oct 19, 2022 - Education - 212 pages

For the millions who remain curious about the world around them, but gained little from science at school, this book offers a way forward. Based on live discussions with adults from all walks of life, each chapter begins with an everyday experience, like swallowing a pill or watching a bee on a flower. The main scientific ideas underlying each topic are then explored, so that understanding of a set of fundamental concepts builds up gradually throughout the book.

In contrast to more traditional approaches to science learning, topics range freely across the subject areas. The story of Covid, for example includes aspects of biology, chemistry, mathematics and social behaviour. Plain English is used throughout and mathematical expressions are avoided. Key points are illustrated with clear diagrams and photographs.

By drawing on questions and perspectives of ordinary people, the book offers an introduction to basic ideas in science as a whole, rather than any one particular subject. For the adult wishing to make good a gap in their understanding it provides a starting point for entering the rich world of popular science.


Selected pages


Two Singing and Navigating The Extraordinary Feats
The Story
Rain Humidity and the Water Cycle

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About the author (2022)

Andrew Morris was a teacher of physics and mathematics for many years in Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges. He subsequently set up an experimental course for adults with little background in science at the Mary Ward adult education centre in Bloomsbury, London. Sessions started from the questions participants asked and followed the course of discussion they chose, rather than a fixed syllabus. He has continued to run these discussion sessions informally for over twenty years (online during the pandemic). Records of these discussion form the basis of this book. Dr Morris also works on the use of pedagogical research to inform teaching. In this capacity he became a research manager at the Further Education Development Agency and Director of the National Education Research Forum under Sir Michael Peckham. Dr Morris has a degree in physics from UCL and a PhD in molecular biophysics from the University of Leeds. He is an Honorary Associate Professor at UCL Institute of Education and a former President of the Education Section of the British Science Association.