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Matthew Shribman - Bio 2

Hey. I am somebody you don’t know, here to write about someone you should: Matthew Shribman. Everyone knows writing your own biography is excruciating – especially when you’ve done even half the stuff Matt has – so, please, allow me the honour.


Like a goat up an argan tree, Matthew Shribman navigates the complex branches of science with style, humour and mastery (official mastery recognised by a first-class degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford). Not only is he able to transform sad stuff that we mostly like to pretend isn’t there (hello anthropogenic climate change) into compelling, informative and essential listening, but he is also able to do this while in a bath.


Goat Shribman up an argan tree, artist’s impression


Matthew – who I shall henceforth refer to as Nice Isotope because he deserves it  – has done so many interesting things that it is impossible for this part of the biography not to become a list. So, quick rattle: an online school reaching tens of thousands of learners around the world; educational talks for BBC, TEDx, Extinction Rebellion, the Wildlife Trust; interviews with Jane Goodall and George Monbiot; films on North Sea pollution for Plastic Oceans Foundation, on Bulgaria’s lost rivers for Patagonia and on farming communities in Benin for the French Research Institute For Development; distribution of 1000 trees to MPs in the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the #ReforestEarth campaign (resulting in the hundredfold multiplication of official tree-planting plans), and the foundation of the #NoBeef campaign that encourages schools and universities to stop serving beef and lamb (supported by Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, the University of Cambridge, Goldsmiths University and Harvard’s Planetary Health Alliance.)


All this, while very impressive, is but mere fact. The true essence of Nice Isotope’s ideology lies in his Scroll of Truth, which reads thus:

  1. Equal access to science for everyone.

  2. Equal access for everyone to science.

This means:


 A) No matter how bored or confused or disinterested you are with any topic (from the Carbon Cycle to breakfast to ovaries to pollution), there is a way to reconsider it. A hand is always offered to help you climb onto the spindly little branches and feast upon the science fruit just like the other goats.


B) Different is good. Whether it is different ways of eating and digesting this fruit (Nice Isotope sees his numbers as shapes and memories as maps, possibly due to dyslexia, possibly due to the vat of Science he fell into as a child) or different interpretations of the way this fruit can be cooked (do we use the science fruit to fill us up, or do we use it to inspire a still-life painting, or do we use it to plant other science fruit trees to host more goats etc), every individual voice is welcomed. The decentralisation of this fruit is paramount to Nice Isotope’s approach – it’s got to be shared equitably so that nobody gets fatter faster than the others.


If this has made any sense to you so far, well done. As you can probably tell, it will be my first and last biography.



Some factual, peer-reviewed quotes:


"It's impossible to get bored in Matthew's shows - even the most worrying topics become captivating, fun and hopeful. Everyone leaves feeling energised, optimistic and wanting more.”

-Rebecca Hardacre, Patagonia Europe


"On an all-star lineup featuring Lord Robert Winston, Matthew's talk was so popular that afterwards he was mobbed by the audience, wanting to take selfies and ask him questions."

- Nick Abrams, Head of Science, Bede's


“What better way to reach the hearts of some MPs who are not yet perhaps as engaged as they might be? Congratulations – it’s really making an impact.”

- Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP, about #ReforestEarth

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