Saturday, 18 August 2018


Channeling the inventive spirit of World War II English mad scientist Geoffrey Pyke (previously) who among other suggestions to the Admiralty, recommended that bombing runs be staged from aircraft carriers with runways made of ice, reinforced with a mixture of sawdust and wood pulp called Pykrete, a London-based food studio has developed an assortment of frozen treats able to resist melting in 24°C heat for one hour, substituting fruit fibre for sawdust.
It might at first glance seem a frivolous thing to worry about but this second look at a composite material that was abandoned during the war due to other priorities and pressures could indeed translate to other applications from ways to keep foods and medications cooler for longer in places without reliable refrigeration or even something more ambitious that what Pyke envisioned himself as girders and frames to help stabilise and hold together ice sheets and icebergs until they can heal themselves. Pyke’s cousin, incidentally, Magnus was a radio and television presenter and celebrity, hosting many programmes on the topic of nutrition and food science and was the Home Doctor for Thomas Dolby’s 1982 song, She Blinded Me with Science—the one who interjects, “Science!” Maybe science and innovation can indeed save us yet.