About Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki AM just loves science to pieces, and has been spreading the word in print, on TV and radio and online for more than thirty years. The author of 45 books, Dr Karl is a lifetime student with degrees in physics and mathematics, biomedical engineering, medicine and surgery. He has worked as a physicist, labourer, roadie for bands, car mechanic, filmmaker, biomedical engineer, taxi driver, TV weatherman, and medical doctor at the Children’s Hospital in Sydney. Dr Karl has test driven four-wheel-drives through the Australian Outback for two decades, covering fifteen of the seventeen deserts. Since 1995, he has been the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the University of Sydney.
Dr Karl’s Random Road Trip through Science is your 45th book! That’s an incredible achievement. Can you tell us a bit about the book?
First, it’s in full colour with lots of pictures and illustrations. Second, the content is fabulous with stories ranging from how A2 Milk and the Alkaline Diet are a con, all the way to understanding why wombats poos cubes out in 90 little cubes per day – and along the way covering how humanity nearly got wiped out in 2015 by a big rock from space, and of course, the Big One – do fish drink? And third, it has Augmented Reality! When you download the modestly named Dr Karl App and aim your smartphone camera at the book there are a couple of dozen electronic pop ups where you can see, for example, a video of the rock that nearly wiped out humanity in 2015. (Go to drkarl.com for more instructions on the Augmented Reality).
What was your research process like for this book?
Each story starts with an idea as something odd or amazing. I then spend between 5 and 30 hours reading the scientific literature and turning that into plain English – with lots of beautiful illustrations.
Is it true you have an asteroid named after you and is there any risk of it hitting earth?
Look up 18412 Asteroid Kruszelnicki. This is my own personal asteroid. It’s in a safe orbit between Mars and Jupiter and should never come near the Earth. However, if another asteroid comes near it, then the gravitational interplay could aim it straight at Earth – but that’s incredibly unlikely.
What in your childhood had the greatest influence on you and why?
My greatest childhood influence (with regard to books) was the Wollongong Public Library. I started with Fairy Tales of every country in the world, and rapidly went to the Hard Stuff – science fiction!
Are you working on another book at the moment?
I am always working on the next book.