Cruise Ship Speakers

Astronomy & Space Science
  Click on photo for full profile and contact details.

David Baker
Aerospace/Aviation/Military History & Espionage
Coming from: Brede, Nr. Rye,  East Sussex  UK
British born, Dr David Baker has had a lifelong involvement with the NASA space programme, helping send men to the Moon in the 1960's, working to develop the re-usable Shuttle in the 1970's, helping countries around the world use space applications in their everyday lives during the 1980's, advising on space policy during the 1990's and lecturer and historian in the new century. An award-winning author David has written more than 100 books, academic and popular, on many aspects of science, aviation, space, defence and astronomy and the development of the technologies and the politics that underpinned the Cold War.

Dan Benedict
Astronomer & Astronomical Historian
Journalist, Educator, FRAS
Coming from: Dayton,  TN  USA
Astronomy journalist and educator Dan Benedict's interest in astronomy began at an early age and is an avid practitioner of naked-eye astronomy, observing those celestial objects and phenomena that can be easily seen by the casual stargazer with the unaided eye. Selected as a participating journalist for a 1998 total solar eclipse cruise, Dan developed a particular interest in astronomy in the unique environment found aboard cruise ships, which he has been sharing with passengers ever since.

Frank Buzzard
Astronomy and Space Exploration
Coming from: Bryan,  Texas  USA
Frank Buzzard spent a distinguished 30 year career with NASA at the Johnson Space Center retiring in 2003 after leading the NASA Columbia Accident Investigation Task Force. He then served as Program Manager for the International Space Station (ISS) Mission Integration Contract from 2003-2005. During his NASA career Mr. Buzzard served as Chief Engineer of the Space Shuttle, Chief Engineer of the ISS, and ISS Program Director/Senior System Integration Manager at NASA HQ. Mr Buzzard loves talking about Astronomy and Space Exploration.

Valerie Calderbank
Coming from: Wantage,  Oxfordshire  UK
Valerie graduated in Physics from King's College, London where she specialised in Nuclear Physics and Biophysics. When she took early retirement in the 1990s, she was able to pursue her lifelong interest in Astronomy and bought her own telescope. In recent years Valerie has put her knowledge to practical use by giving numerous talks on Astronomy. In recognition of this The Royal Astronomical Society appointed her as a Fellow in 2011.

Peter John Cattermole
Geologist and Volcanologist
B.Sc., PhD
Coming from: Sheffield,  South Yorkshire  UK
Peter was formerly a lecturer in volcanology and planetary geology at the University of Sheffield and, previously at University College of Wales, Aberystwtyth. For many years he was a Principal Investigator with NASA's planetary geology and physics program, specialising on the study of volcanoes on Mars and Venus. Peter has travelled widely during the course of his work and has given numerous public lectures in the fields of his specialities, including explaining geological processes to cruise ship passengers.

Edmund Derbyshire
Space & Satellites
Coming from: Havant,  Hampshire  UK
Ed first learned to walk on a ship bound for Australia where he spent seven years before returning to the UK in 1967 where he attended the local grammar school. In 1975 he joining the Merchant Navy as a Radio Officer before entering the space industry for the next 30 years working with a number of major satellite design, launch and operation companies. Ed is a capable and experienced speaker and is very keen to share his experiences with people in a friendly and easily digestable way.

John Maclean
Astronomy & Astrophysics
FRAS (Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society)
Coming from: Exeter,  Devon  UK
John is an experienced Science Communicator in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics and is an award winning Astro Photographer. He has a special interest in Cometary science and is a member of the UK Meteor Monitoring Network as well as participating as a communicator for NASA and ESA space missions. John is an experienced presenter with an engaging and humorous style accompanied with extremely professional graphic and audio presentations. John has the ability to communicate scientific concepts in a way that the audience both enjoys and understands. He is also able to provide "Stargazing" nights on board and can lead Aurora expeditions.

David (Michael) Mannion
Coming from: Canterbury,  Kent  UK
David Mannion is a highly qualified teacher with 26 years teaching experience including The Open University (12 years), Schools and Colleges and with overseas teaching experience in two International Schools. He has degrees in astronomy and is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (elected in 1984). He has sat on the RAS Education Committee and has given numerous lectures on Astronomy to the general public over the last 30 years.

Howard Parkin
Astronomer & Space Historian
Coming from: Onchan,  Isle of Man  UK
Howard, inspired by the first astronauts and the "Space Race" back in the early 60's, has been an astronomer and space enthusiast most of his life. He is a fully trained teacher and has been teaching astronomy and Astronautics to adult education classes since 1985. He is a member of the British Astronomical (BAA) and was a founder member of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society in 1989. Howard has been an accomplished speaker on cruise ships over many years.

Glenn Patrick
Physics, Cosmology & Earth Sciences
BSc, PhD, CPhys, FInstP, FRAS
Coming from: Wantage,  Oxfordshire  UK
Glenn is a particle physicist who has spent most of his career working on large international experiments using accelerators at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva. Glenn is based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where he is now an Honorary Scientist and is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Portsmouth, where he teaches. Glenn regularly gives public talks to a wide variety of audiences and specialises in explaining the concepts of physics, cosmology and astronomy in everyday language.

Ian Ridpath
Astronomy & Space
Coming from: Brentford,  Middlesex  UK
Learn about the stars, Moon and planets with award-winning astronomy author & broadcaster Ian Ridpath. Many of today’s amateur stargazers first found their way round the night sky with Ian’s star-spotting guides. A particular interest of Ian’s is the Greek and Roman myths of the constellations, which form the basis of his talks. Ian’s fast-moving and highly illustrated talks also cover our neighbour worlds the Moon and planets, with stunning images from space probes and the world’s most powerful telescopes. On Norwegian voyages, Ian also lectures about the fabulous northern lights.

Paul Riley
Popular Science, Astronomy & Food Science
BSc, MSc, PhD
Coming from: Wirral,    UK
After academic life reading chemistry Paul joined Unilever’s Personal Care Products Group. He has talks on the history of everyday products, often humorous with amusing anecdotes, that we use on a daily basis thinking little about them: tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, sugar, makeup, deodorants, toothpaste and soap. For the festive season Paul has talks on the history of our Christmas traditions. With his academic background he has talks on astronomy but from the perspective of chemistry – looking at the world around us how did its building blocks and those for life originate?

Alan Smith
Space, Astronomy & Science
Coming from: Cranleigh,  Surrey  UK
Professor Alan Smith is the Director of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, part of University College London. He has been working in space science for more than 35 years and has been involved with space mission involving all of the major space agencies including NASA, the European Space Agency, Japan, Russia and China. His current interests include astrophysics, planetary science and satellite instrumentation. Alan's talks are highly visual in nature, based upon astronomy and space science images and photography.

Michael Smith
Professor of Astronomy, PhD, FRAS
Coming from: Herne Bay,  Kent  UK
Michael Smith is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Kent, Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science and Director of the Kent Space School. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the International Astronomical Union. He studied at Imperial College, London, and Magdalen College, Oxford. He has written two books, over 200 scientific papers and is Editor-in-Chief of an international journal. He has contributed to television, radio and newspapers, acted as expert witness, and held many public lectures.

David Southwood
Astronomy & Space Science
Space Robotics
Coming from: Wimbledon,  London  UK
David was formerly the Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency in Paris. Before going to Paris, he was a space scientist at Imperial College, London. He is an expert on the aurora and magnetism of earth and other planets. He has been involved in astronomy, space missions and space exploration since 1966 and has a long experience of public communication about space and space exploration which provides inspiration for his talks.

Ben Still
Physics & Science
Coming from: London,    UK
Ben is a national multi-award-winning science communicator, scientist, and science writer. Not your average scientist; Ben uses clear visuals and everyday metaphors, allowing all audiences to appreciate the beauty of even the most abstract of sciences. Ben holds a masters degree in Physics with Space Science and Technology from the University of Leicester and PhD in experimental particle physics from The University of Sheffield. Ben regularly talks at international conferences and professional institution as well as providing enrichment talks on cruises.

Lou Thieblemont
Former Airline Pilot, Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, PA
Coming from: Camp Hill,  PA  USA
Lou Thieblemont has always been fascinated by the sky. Even before graduating from New York Institute of Technology, he was working for Air France Flight Dispatch at JFK airport making computerized flight plans. After graduation, he worked for 37 years as a commercial airline pilot, first for TWA and then for American Airlines when the two carriers merged. Since his retirement Lou has been an active volunteer for a number of organisations and offers a series of talks on topics as diverse as astronomy, aviation, Antarctic exploration, optical illusions, and computer graphics.

Robert Turner
Astronomy & Astro Physics
Earth Sciences & Archaeology
Coming from: Worthing,  West Sussex  UK
University and further education teacher in Astronomy and Archaeology Bob Turner has over 50 years experience in Astronomy and 10 years experience in pre history Archaeology and Lithics. As a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a 50 year plus member of the British Astronomical Association he has toured all over the World co lecturing with Patrick Moore. He has also acted as tour guide on many occasions in his pursuit of total eclipses with three different tour companies. Bob has run many courses up and down the UK for amateurs and semi professional Astronomers and is often found lecturing on cruise ships.

Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe
Astronomy, Astrobiology & Life in the Universe
Coming from: Cardiff,  Wales  UK
Professor Wickramasinghe is a world-renowned astronomer who has made important contributions to the theory of cosmic dust. Together with the late Sir Fred Hoyle he pioneered the modern theory of panspermia which argues for life being a cosmic phenomenon. He is an award winning poet, and the author of over 22 books and 350 scientific papers. He has held professional appointments in a large number of universities and has at one time been advisor to the President of Sri Lanka. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Sir Arnold Wolfendale
Physics & Astronomy
14th Astronomer Royal
Coming from: Durham,  County Durham  UK
Sir Arnold Wolfendale is an astrophysicist who is still actively engaged in research. He was President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1981 – 1983, the Institute of Physics from 1994 – 1996, and was the 14th Astronomer Royal from 1991 – 1995. He was President of the European Physical Society. A prominent feature of his presentations is his humour, and the fact that all in attendance are given an authgraphed, crested, 'Astronomer Royal' photograph.

Stephanie Yardley
Astronomy & Solar Physics
PhD, MPhys, BSc, FRAS
Coming from: St Andrews,  Fife  UK
Stephanie is a PhD student at UCL’s Department of Space and Climate Physics based at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Surrey and studies magnetic activity on the Sun’s surface. The Sun’s magnetic field can be highly concentrated in patches known as active regions. The understanding of what drives these structures to become unstable and erupt would hugely benefit space weather prediction. Stephanie is very enthusiastic about her research and loves to share this with the public by giving talks, writing articles and visiting schools.