Martin Coath

Science in Schools Presenter

  • Martin Coath


Martin was born in Malta and grew up in Kent and Devon where he trained as a shipwright and worked in a guitar shop before getting a degree in Chemistry in 1982. Much later (20 years!) he gained an MSc in Computational Intelligence and a PhD in Neuroscience.

Martin worked for several years as a freelance programmer and trainer for many clients including City Councils, Oxfam, NATO and BMW. He has been active in Science Communication since the mid 80s and during his PhD he 'got the the bug' being a finalist in the Famelab Competition, an award winning STEM ambassador, and appearing at the Cheltenham Science, Music and Jazz Festivals. 

After 15 years as a research scientist he is now back doing freelance work and is delighted to be working as a presenter for the Ri learning team delivering shows in schools.

Scientific inspiration

I have no memory of who they were, or what they were called, but during my primary school years there were two guys who used their spare time to take classes out and share their knowledge of insects, trees and birds. One of them brought a microscope in to our class and showed us how to make slides of leaves and insect wings. Magic!

Favourite demo

I love the look of total wonder, followed by one of deep thought, that I get from younger children (as well as some older ones) when I mix red and green light to produce a yellow patch on a screen. I always take time to ask them what they think will happen before the demo and even those who give the right answer are surprised. So simple, yet it acts as a jumping off point for so much.

Best thing about the Ri

It is always a pleasure to work with talented and committed colleagues and the Ri has a great team. But it has many other things that are unique; the history, the building, the network to name just three. The Science in Schools programme that I work for exists to take these things and enhance their reach and accessibility, which is an exciting project.