M People once exhorted that you have to “search for the hero inside yourself” and, while they meant well, practical advice on how to actually become a superhero has been rather thin on the ground… until now. Barry Fitzgerald is a scientist who has literally written the book on that very subject and in the process has earned him the name the Superhero Scientist.
Leaving aside the fact that Barry is a bona fide, super-intelligent scientist, his passion is examining his love of the superhero myth and using it to expand on the science behind the mask (or cowl, if you’re a DC fan) as a way of introducing people to the wonders of the physics, whether that be via workshops, white papers or his brilliant books “Secrets Of Superhero Science” and “How To Build An Iron Man Suit”
Like many of the best examples of the genre, this week’s episode centres on a classic team-up as Andy and Barry wax lyrical on their love of superhero fiction, while Barry provides some much-needed grounding in contrast to Andy’s emotional incontinence when it comes to a certain line of dialogue from the latest Avengers blockbuster.
Topics include which superhero we’re most likely to encounter first, the healthcare benefits provided by the technology powering Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit and there’s even a discussion on the physics of time travel, which you’ll find evidence of if you look up the description of the very first episode of this podcast*.
Finally, Barry treats Andy to a masterclass in Be Grand’s “What were your jams?” fixture and answers some English paper questions on Shakespeare but with a rather “Asgardian” twist.
* May not be evidence of anything beyond our shameless desire to plug this show