UCLan academics turn superhero on World Book Day

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‘Science of Superheroes’ unmasks the truth behind secret superpowers

A group of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) academics turned superheroes for the day as part of the launch of a new book exploring the scientific secrets behind some of our most famous comic strip characters.

Launched specially to help celebrate World Book Day, ‘Unmasked – The Science of Superheroes’ reveals the scientific realities behind famous comic book legends and blockbusting movie in a new book entirely created by staff at UCLan.

To help celebrate the launch at the Harris Library and Museum in Preston, local children from 31st Sacred Heart Guides in Preston and 5th Penwortham Guides attended the event and were able to watch special demonstrations of the science behind some of the powers flexed by their favourite superheroes.

It is our hope that with this book we can show how real-world science can be just as wondrous and jaw-dropping brilliant as the explosive events we see on cinema screens or the pages of comic books.

In the new book each of the seven UCLan writers have been spectacularly turned into superheroes themselves, with each character reflecting different types of superpowers and their scientific basis.

The book draws on Computing, Engineering, Maths, Physics, Biology and Psychology to explore the world of superheroes like never before. For example, what are the ingredients in Captain America’s super solider serum that make him amazingly strong, how did the Black Widow develop her supercharged combat skills or is it likely that we will find Guardians of the Galaxy style alien life on distant planets.

The UCLan-assembled superpowered team of authors consists of Professor Robert Walsh (who last year won acclaim for his work on a 3-D recreation of the Sun seen by thousands of visitors to Blackpool and Lancaster), alongside Dr Sarita Robinson, Principal Lecturer Nicky Danino, Dr. Catherine Tennick, Dr Sylvy Anscombe, Dr Matthew Dickinson and Senior Demonstrator Adam Wilcox.

Professor Robert Walsh said: “It is our hope that with this book we can show how real-world science can be just as wondrous and jaw-dropping brilliant as the explosive events we see on cinema screens or the pages of comic books.”

Dr Sarita Robinson added: “Unmasked: The Science of Superheroes has been a joy to work on. By bringing together a love of superheroes and our passion for science we have created a science book which is accessible to all.”

‘Unmasked: The Science of Superheroes‘ is published by UCLan Publishing and available to order here. The book is available through Amazon.co.uk, WHSmith and Waterstones.

View more images from the event on our Flickr gallery.

Tim Fernandez | 09 March 2020