Jack Challoner

Jack Challoner

Author of books, Children's author, Non-fiction, Poet

Booking enquiry
Jack Challoner - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview


Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Age 16 to 18+, Further Education, Adult


Narrative non-fiction, Poetry, Reference, Science, Technology

Book types

Fiction 5-9, Non-fiction for children, Non-fiction for young-adults


I’m a science writer based in Bristol, England. I have written more than fifty books. I write for children (non-fiction explanatory books and experiment books, plus science poetry); and for young adults and adults. 

I can speak about any science topic, but the most fun are: water, air pressure, sound, light, electricity, energy, astronomy and space science.

I am happy to travel abroad (in 2022, I presented talks and workshops at a school in Madrid, and in 2019, several schools in the USA). 

When I visit schools, I like to do a mixture of readings, talking about science and about being an author, and fun, practical science activities. I am comfortable speaking to small groups, classes, whole year groups or even whole schools! I have a current, clean DBS

Before becoming a writer, I worked at London’s Science Museum in the Education Unit – and in the museum’s flagship interactive gallery, Launchpad (now called 'Wonderlab'). Before that, I trained as a teacher (secondary science and maths) – and before that, I gained a degree in physics from Imperial College, London. 

My recent books include:
’Seeing Science – Making the Invisible Visible’ and ‘The Atom: A Virtual Tour‘, (The MIT Press);
‘The Diary of Curious Cuthbert’ (Explaining Science Publishing);
‘Home Lab’, (called ‘Maker Lab‘ in the USA, published by DK in association with the Smithsonian Institution);
‘The Cell – a Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life‘ (Chicago University Press);
‘The Elements – The New Guide to the Building Blocks of the Universe’ (Carlton Books);
‘Real Lives: John Snow‘, a biography of the Victorian doctor and scientist (Bloomsbury).

In 2024, I will be releasing a series of books of explanatory scientific poetry, called Rhyme and Reason – and I would love to introduce young audiences to this in person. 

Event feedback

Jack was an absolute hit with teachers and pupils alike! From his engaging whole school assembly in the morning to his jaw-dropping science demonstrations in the year group workshops, the whole school was buzzing. We loved hearing Jack's science based poetry- perfect for our World Book Day poetry focus. Jack was so warm and friendly- it was a pleasure having him as a visiting author. Thank you Jack!

Vicki Barnard (Backwell Junior School)

Books by Jack Challoner

Home Lab: Exciting Experiments for Budding Scientists

Home Lab: Exciting Experiments for Budding Scientists

Winner of the 2017 Science Book Prize. Written by me, with Robert Winston on the cover!  
Seeing Science: The Art of Making the Invisible Visible

Seeing Science: The Art of Making the Invisible Visible

With more than 200 color images and an engaging text by leading science writer Jack Challoner, Seeing Science explains and illustrates the techniques by which scientists create visualizations of their discoveries. We see the first detection of a black hole as represented by an image from an Xray telescope, get a direct view of DNA through an electron microscope, and much more. Visualizations are also used to make sense of an avalanche of data—concisely presenting information from the 20,000 or so human genes, for example. Scientists represent complex theories in computer models, which take on a curious beauty of their own. And scientists and artists collaborate to create art from science visualizations, with intriguing results. 
The Cell: A Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life

The Cell: A Visual Tour of the Building Block of Life

"In his beautiful visual exploration of the cell, Challoner uses an exuberance of imaging techniques as well as infographics and data figures to illustrate this fundamental unit of life. Handsome and elegantly designed, this tour through the cell's history and diversity in form and function is a delight to peruse. Each page is its own lovely rabbit hole, parsed to allow for quick snippets of "cyte-seeing" or hours-long, leisurely pleasure reading. This stunning collection would make a winning addition to the library of any lover of life and science."-- "American Scientist"  
The Story of Science

The Story of Science

Features the edited highlights of 500 years of scientific discovery. Each episode describes a light-bulb moment in scientific discovery and puts it in context with other breakthroughs in the wider world. Along the way, shorter stories and brief biographies feature in breakout boxes, explaining pivotal moments and introducing the key players. 
John Snow (Real Lives)

John Snow (Real Lives)

Narrative biography of John Snow, a Victorian physician who helped to establish that cholera was spread by contaminated water (not bad air, as theory had it). He traced the source of a deadly cholera outbreak to one pump and was able to have it closed, ending the outbreak, despite deep resistance from the local authorities, who did not want to believe his theory. This was a massive event in public health and the founding event of the science of epidemiology. Snow was also an early pioneer of anaesthesia. A dedicated scientist, the results of his work are still evident. He saved untold lives. This is his story. 
The Elements

The Elements

What links the Taj Mahal and our skeleton? Calcium. The Eiffel Tower and our blood? Iron. The salt on our chips and the street lamps that guide us home? Sodium. Forged in the Big Bang, the elements and their resulting compounds went on to create our Solar System, the planet we live on, the air we breathe, the water we rely on, and the proteins that would become life. Everything in the known Universe is made up of one of the 118 elements of the periodic table, and this book is your definitive illustrated guide. Every element is featured, their vital statistics given, their main compounds and uses explored, and their fascinating histories told.  
The Diary of Curious Cuthbert

The Diary of Curious Cuthbert

NEW EDITION COMING SPRING 2023. Meet scientist, inventor, thinker, hero Cuthbert Armeeni, who lives in a land where people use satellites to predict the weather but no one knows that germs cause disease; where calendars can skip a month by royal decree; and where cats can talk – or can they? Discover some of the stories from his own diary, retold in rhyme.