Sunday, 19 June 2011

Books and Adventures has moved!

After carefully digging up the foundations and hoisting the whole thing on to a flatbed truck, I've shifted the blog over to, where you can currently find the first part of my interview with Nnedi Okorafor.

I've also pulled my finger out and fired up the Twitter as well, you can find me at

If you want to subscribe to the all-new, all-singing Books and Adventures, the RSS feed is here:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Impending Relaunch of Books and Adventures

It's been a while since my last update, as my Peruvian project ended in a robbery and a bout of fever - but I'm pleased to say that I'm back on the web, and the Books and Adventures site is about to receive a major overhaul.

The all-new, all-singing, all-dancing site will be launching shortly, including the long-awaited interviews with YA author Nnedi Okorafor and Finnish Education Minister Henna Virkkunen, as well as new features from New Zealand and Australia, where I'm discovering that Sydney is neck-and-neck with New York for the title of 'Matt's Favourite Place on Earth'.

Stay tuned for more from the all-new Books and Adventures...


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Travel and Tourism for the Ethical Gringo

You'll find my latest piece of travel writing for La Vida Idealist up at

Playing sapo in Huamanga, Peru

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Raising Expectations: Gringo Teachers in Peruvian Schools

You can find this weekend's interview with Sue Allsworth, director of San Domingo Savio School in Ayacucho, Peru, here at La Vida Idealist.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Latest from Ayacucho, Peru: Pascuatoro and the running of the bulls

Where do we draw the line between animal rights and respect for tradition?

In the Peruvian city of Ayacucho, bull running is a recent addition to an Easter celebration that goes back centuries.

You can find my latest piece, on the revival of the traditional pascuatoro, at

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Q&A with Ken White, Manager of Educational Programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory

This week on Books and Adventures we’re joined by Ken White, manager of educational programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), an advanced research facility run by the U.S. Department of Energy.

BNL was founded in 1947, with a mandate to promote research across the fields of physics, chemistry, biology and engineering. I began by asking Ken how long BNL has been involved with schools outreach and science education.

'The Laboratory has been a supporter of science education pretty much since its inception. Science education and workforce development are part of our mission at BNL, and we have been fortunate to have leadership support to enable greater interaction with our academic community.  College students have come here for internships since the early 1950s and the Lab frequently had open houses and school outreach programs well back into the early 1960s. 

Over the past six years we have developed hands-on inquiry-based experiences for middle and high school students to enable them to conduct science similar to that of our researchers.  These are offered at cost and have become quite popular with local schools.  These programs have expanded the way in which we satisfy our responsibility for educating the next generation of scientists.

Successful offerings need to be exciting, with engaging activities that enable students to realize science is accessible to them.  The best programs often include a story as well – we try to humanize the program by relating it to our scientific staff actually working on the problems being presented.  Programs that show how the academic work applies to real life problems we face as a society tend to do well.'

What can a visit to BNL do for students in mainstream schooling?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Report from Holy Week in Ayacucho

You can catch my latest from Holy Week in Ayacucho - including how I ended up taking an impromptu role in a traditional religious procession - at Living in Peru.