Dr Karl to bring laughter to the front line

He may not have the vocal range or sex appeal of The Sapphires, but Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is determined to put on a good show for Australian troops posted in the Middle East when he visits next month.

The scientist will be touring military bases as part of a performance organised by Forces Entertainment, and while he says he won't be breaking out his pink wig or white leather go-go boots, he has a few other treats in store for the soldiers.

He isn't entirely sure what he will talk to them about yet, only that his 45-minute set will feature about 300 images and various quirky, science-based tales, and that he wants to make them laugh.

"When we do these shows people laugh and learn at the same time," he says.

"I'm not exactly sure how to tailor my little talks; I want to sense the environment and see what they're all interested in.

"They're mostly 18 to 25, more males than females, so there might be a few little stories about alcohol and beer goggles; or Murphy's Law, that anything that can go wrong will go wrong; or maybe a story about how judges are more influenced by what they ate for breakfast than the facts of the case when giving a judgment; or how a marshmallow can predict the future outcome of a child . . . or what happens when you go into a room and forget why you went there."

Clearly Dr Kruszelnicki has no shortage of knowledge to draw from. With degrees in mathematics, biomedical engineering, medicine and surgery, a working knowledge of physics, astrophysics, philosophy and various bizarre facts and 32 books to his name, the challenge is choosing what to say rather than being stuck for words.

The Edmund Rice alumnus became keen to do an entertainment tour for the Australian military after spending time working with veterans while a medical doctor at Concord Hospital.

Since a chance encounter with an organiser for Forces Entertainment at an airport brought the goal to fruition, Dr Kruszelnicki has been busy reading up on the area's history to prepare for the journey.

Dr Kruszelnicki will be joined by band Bento, featuring ex-Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies, and writer and radio host Justin Hamilton.

They will be in the Middle East for one week and will tour several different military bases.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is heading to the Middle East. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is heading to the Middle East. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI


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