Guinness World Record Attempt
– World’s Longest Lecture
Those of you who have followed Mark’s work for some years will recall that in October 2015 he produced and performed his 24 Hour Space Spectacular – a charity fund raising 24 hours of space lectures. The event was held at the Royal Institution in London, was streamed all around the World and left Mark feeling exhausted and with a rather sore throat. He recalls “..at the time I remember investigating what the World record was for the longest lecture with a view to having a go at smashing it. When I learned it was over 5 days and having never attempted anything like this before, I decided perhaps not just now”!
Four years on, fully recovered from the physical and mental challenge of speaking for 24 hours and with the valuable experience under his belt, he is once again turning his gaze again on the World Record but this time, his focus is absolute. The current record was set in 2014 by Arvind Mishra from the Graphic Era University in India who lectured for 139 hours, 42 minutes and 56 seconds on Scientific Computation. That’s the equivalent of lecturing for over FIVE AND A HALF DAYS!
The task is daunting, the physical and mental challenges immense but plans are underway. Having taken advice from experts at the University of East Anglia new Sleep Unit and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge University, Mark’s first task was to see if he has the psychological stamina for such an undertaking.
To test his ability during the Norwich Science Festival, he went two nights without sleep and on the 26th Oct 2019 after 58 hours awake performed a one hour lecture. His warm-up lecture “Introduction to the Universe – Sleep Not Essential” went without a hitch despite referring to ‘hedrogen’ when talking about hydrogen, helium and stellar evolution! When asked how the lecture went Simon Fox from the Youth STEMM award reported “Disappointingly Slick!”. It seems Mark has the psychological stamina for the try and smash the World Record so the attempt is on….
World Record Attempt Countdown
Mark is always keen to seek science outreach opportunities and this sleep deprived experience presents a great opportunity. Thanks to the very kind support of MyndPlay who are providing a mobile EEG machine, Mark’s brainwaves will be available online right here during the practice and the attempt along with some lesson plans for schools to download.