From Mercury space launches in Dr. No (1962) via the NASA space shuttles of Moonraker (1979) and the nanobots and sci-fi viruses in No Time to Die (2021), the history of the Bond movies has also been the history of a curious marriage of science fact versus science’s fictions.

One expert on debunking and shedding scientific truths on our pop-culture heroes and classics is former chemist and now author, Kathryn Harkup (Death by Shakespeare – Snakebites, Stabbings and Broken Hearts, A is for Arsenic – The Poisons of Agatha Christie).

In September 2022, Harkup and Bloomsbury are donning their yellow SPECTRE lab coats and unveiling Licence to Kill – The Science of 007.

Will being covered in gold paint actually kill you? What is the best way to wipe out the human race? Would all of Bond’s gadgets actually work? And is a volcanic lair remotely feasible and practical?! The Science of 007 aims to find out!

1 Sep 2022
Hardback £16.99

In 2021 Kathryn Harkup looked at the poisons of 007 for Chemical World – The Name’s Bond, Chemical Bond.

‘The plot of Moonraker is perhaps the most outlandish of all of the films. But forgetting the more ridiculous aspects of the plot, like space lasers and metal teeth that can bite through steel cables, methods to kill huge numbers of people using chemicals extracted from plants is sadly a lot closer to the real world than we might like to admit.’