Nick Cook

Location: Ruislip, Greater London
About me...

After working as a research scientist for more than twenty years I was press-ganged into health and safety.  To my surprise I enjoyed this even more than the research (maybe something to do with the pleasure we all find in studying work rather than actually doing it).

Now retired from Kodak I spend my time lecturing (recently rated “outstanding” by my college), speaking and writing.  Topics include creative writing, memoir writing, Greek mythology, the social history of health and safety and storytelling for adults.  I have given talks to coffee morning, Church, Archaeology and U3A groups.

I also work as a part-time consultant for the same callous company that originally press- ganged me into health and safety all those years ago.  I should mention that I am a lifelong Liverpool fan, an activity that explains periodic episodes of deep despondency.

About my Talks...

My talks all use Power point but can also be delivered “stand alone” if your venue is not suitable for use of screen and projector. The slides are richly illustrated and for clarity I keep the number of words on each to a minimum.  I have a lap-top, projector and screen but am happy to use any equipment that may be available at your venue. For safety, all my equipment is PAT compliant.

Talks typically are an hour each but this can be tailored to your requirements.  I am always happy to take questions and provide handouts covering the topic and further information. I can speak evenings and daytime.


My fee is £50 per talk unless otherwise stated below.

Travelling expenses:  no charge if the venue is within ten miles of my home in Ruislip, Greater London or talks given in Devon.   For other venues I charge reasonable travelling expenses based on petrol costs.

My Contact Details:

01895 674 435

0744 304 4529

Baked Alaska or Mexican Chilly? Climate change explained.


In July 2019 people sunbathed in a baking Alaska as temperatures soared to an unprecedented 32oC.    In the same month the normally baking city of Guadalajara in Mexico shivered beneath chilly 3 foot blanket of freak hailstones.  Both events made the headlines.  What is going on here?  Some blame climate change.  Others shrug and say “That’s what weather does.  Always has done and always will.”

What climate change does to weather is just one of the topics covered in this talk.  It will also present the fascinating history, science and politics of climate change in a clear and entertaining way so that your opinions, whatever they may be, are fully informed.  The speaker talks from a background of providing environmental advice and training to multinational company.


Me! Me! Me!

Or ‘How to Write Your Memoirs’
Forget money! Forget property and forget the family jewels! The most important legacy you can leave is the story of your life. Your memoirs will take your children into another world. Your world. A world perhaps where buses had conductors, phones were not in the least mobile and music was played on something called a gramophone. Writing your memoirs will help you to understand the times through which you have lived. Even more important, it will help you understand yourself. Whether you want to write a full autobiography, articles for a local magazine or simply keep a diary this talk will introduce you to the writing skills that will make your story sparkle.

Ban Conkers? That’s Bonkers!!!

Nanny state gone mad or enlightened care? Decide for yourself as you fasten your seat belt and take a roller coaster ride through the past, present and precarious future of Health and Safety.

We will consider the health hazards from those faced by stone-age flint axe makers to modern dangers such as the perils of simply sitting and the hidden hazards you inhale while flying in today’s modern airliners.

While your final views of this controversial subject are entirely your own,  this talk will hopefully help to inform those opinions.

Homeward bound – the story of Odysseus.

Would you go for a drink with Odysseus? He’s a born liar and you will almost certainly end up buying every round. But it will be worth every drachma because of his charm, humour and seemingly endless fund of amazing stories. Most of these are about his voyage home from the Trojan War. They include famous encounters with murderous monsters, wicked women (divine and mortal) and his arch enemy Poseidon god of the sea. Who could ask for more? His long suffering wife Penelope perhaps. So bring your sou’westers and seasickness tablets for the voyage of a lifetime. This richly illustrated power point talk is one hour long but can be tailored to your needs. The fee is £65 plus travelling expenses over 20 miles.

The Great Sulk – Achilles and the Trojan War

How would you feel if the most powerful king in ancient Greece confiscated your favourite female slave?  The great Achilles went into a massive meltdown, pulled out of the war against Troy and sat sulking in his tent.  So what happened next?  Vivid Power Point Illustrations bring to life one of the first and greatest stories ever told.  The talk is an hour long but can be tailored to your needs. The fee is £65 plus travelling expenses over 20 miles.

Cruising With Jason

Step aboard!  Join Jason and the Argonauts on the first and greatest sea cruise in history.  Maybe onboard activities are somewhat limited but wait ‘til you see the shore excursions!

You will harass Harpies, slay Spartoi, raise your shields against the razor sharp feathers of the Stymphalian Birds and generally live the heroic life.

Nor is health and safety an issue.   There isn’t any.  But on the bright side this cruise has two powerful Greek goddesses looking out for you.

Love, hate, jealousy, rage and joy will fuel your voyage across the wine dark seas.

Berths are filling fast so book now.  Don’t miss the quest for the Golden Fleece!


So You Hate Science Fiction......

…. then this could be just the talk for you.   Not so much a talk about science fiction as the fears and hopes and dreams of times gone by.

For example, in 1870 England was afraid of a newly independent and resurgent Germany.  A short story, “The Battle of Dorking”, tapped into these fears by depicting a successful German invasion of the home counties.  It did this so effectively that it triggered a Parliamentary debate.

In 1928 “The Revolt of the Pedestrians” highlighted concerns about overdependence on all these new-fangled horseless carriages.  It predicted that our legs would wither away leaving us all crawling like helpless babies on the sidewalks.

And of course, big business has been feared as much as big invasions and big technology.  “The Space Merchants” depicts a world where all powerful advertising companies beam their messages directly onto your eyeballs. In the more recent” Jennifer Government” the Nike corporation stimulates demand for its latest trainers by shooting buyers as they emerge from the shop.

No promises.  At the end of this talk you may still hate science fiction.  But I hope you will appreciate its power as a lens for looking at the past, present, and, yes, even the future.


Nick Cook Contact Details:

01895 674 435

0744 304 4529

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