Stuff Matters : The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World, Paperback

Stuff Matters : The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Stuff Matters by Mark Miodnownik is a unique and inspiring exploration of human creativity. "Enthralling. A mission to re-acquaint us with the wonders of the fabric that sustains our lives". (Guardian). Everything is made of something...From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Stuff Matters reveals the inner workings of the man-made world, the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day.

From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, from the ancient technologies of fabrics and ceramic to today's self-healing metals and bionic implants, this is a book to inspire amazement and delight at mankind's creativity. "A certain sort of madness may be necessary to pull off what he has attempted here, which is a wholesale animation of the inanimate: Miodownik achieves precisely what he sets out to". (The Times). "Insightful, fascinating. The futuristic materials will elicit gasps. Makes even the most everyday substance seem exciting". (Sunday Times). "Wonderful. Miodownik writes well enough to make even concrete sparkle". (Financial Times). "I stayed up all night reading this book". (Oliver Sacks). "Expert, deftly written, immensely enjoyable" (Observer).

Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2).

In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4.

He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection.

In 2014 Stuff Matters was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages, 65 x b/w integrated
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular science
  • ISBN: 9780241955185



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Before I picked this up I was already familiar with articles and tv programmes by Mark Midownik and enjoyed both his presenting and writing style. This book was no different bringing our everyday environment into focus by examining the materials that are all around us and of which I give very little thought.I particularly like the manner in which he relates his own life experience to the different materials. Accessible popular science at its very best!

Review by

Enthralling and wittily written tour of materials science, beginning with an anecdote about being attacked with a razor blade. Illustrated with the author's endearingly crappy little drawings. Great fun.