Marcus Chown’s publisher set him a challenge: write about Everything. So he did. The result is What a Wonderful World: One man’s attempt to explain the ‘big stuff’. Everything from finance to thermodynamics, sex to special relativity, human origins to the human brain. Come along and learn why babies are powered by rocket fuel, slime moulds have 13 sexes and 98% of the universe is invisible. Of course, it’s tongue in cheek. Marcus’s book isn’t really One Man’s Attempt to Explain Everything. More like One Man’s Attempt to Explain Everything… Volume 1!

Talk schedule

  • Auckland: 11 March 2014
  • Christchurch: 12 March 2014
  • Wellington: Marcus Chown was brought to New Zealand by the New Zealand Festival and appeared at the Festival on Friday 7 March and Sunday 9 March 2014. 

Watch Marcus Chown in conversation with Rebecca Priestley at the New Zealand Festival Writers Week, thanks to the New Zealand Listener.

Marcus Chown: the universe and health

Listen to Kim Hill’s interview with Marcus Chown on Radio New Zealand’s Saturday Morning programme. 

About Marcus Chown

Marcus Chown (credit Jeff Fletcher)

Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is currently cosmology consultant of New Scientist.

Marcus Chown is a regular guest on the BBC4 comedy-science show, It’s Only A Theory, and has appeared at a range of events from the Cheltenham Literary Festival to the Sydney Writers Festival, from the National Theatre to the Wilderness Festival. And he has done stand-up comedy at a variety of venues from an upturned inflatable cow on London’s South Bank to a glass-bottomed boat in a shark tank at the Brighton Sealife Centre.

Marcus Chown is the author of several books including the bestselling Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and We Need to Talk to Kelvin, which was short-listed for the 2010 Royal Society London book prize. He also wrote The Solar System, the bestselling app for iPad, which won The Bookseller Digital Innovation of the Year Award 2011. His test for whether he understands something is whether he can explain it to someone waiting for a Number 25 bus.