Weird Science

Many attempts have been made over the years to popularize the inner workings of science — ways to make laymen able to grasp the essence of the innovations in theory and technology that drive the everyday world. Physicist George Gamow was one of the first to do so back in the 1930s, when he published his first Mr. Tompkins story, a whimsical yet illuminating journey through the world of science written in an almost Lewis Carroll-like style. Gamow's son, former University of Colorado teacher Dr. Igor Gamow, has taken it upon himself to advance his father's legacy — in a comic book.

The Adventures of Mr. Tompkins is a loving adaptation, drawn in vivid, teeming detail by local artist Scorpio Steele, that adopts the senior Gamow's beloved series. "Part of our inspiration to introduce a fun and educational science series is the fact that our science students are falling far behind science students from other industrial countries," says Igor. "When I joined the engineering faculty at CU in 1967, American science students were number one in the world. Today we're number 25. This is simply a dreadful situation that needs to be corrected. Mr. Tompkins to the rescue!"

Gamow and Steele will appear today at 2 p.m. at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street, to discuss and sign copies of The Adventures of Mr. Tompkins. Admission is free. For info, call 303-447-2074 or visit
Sun., June 27, 2 p.m., 2010

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller