Zbigniew Szydlo (also known as Andrew Szydlo) is a chemist, academician and teacher.
Szydlo was born in England to Polish parents, where he attended Latymer Upper School, and then Imperial College London and University College London. He currently teaches chemistry at Highgate School in North London. He holds MSc, PhD, DIC, ACGI, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, of which he is also a CChem.
An expert on the history of alchemy, Szydlo is the author of the standard work on the Polish alchemist, Michael Sendivogius. His work on seventeenth-century science is an ongoing project to which he hopes to devote further attention.
He frequently gives public lectures in the United Kingdom on topics including the History of Chemistry. Recent performances at Cambridge University, Durham University, University College London, the Royal Institution, Cheltenham Science Festival and Hampton Court have received much acclaim: writing in the journal Chemistry Industry on Szydlo’s performance at Cambridge, John Wilkins remarked that ‘Dr Szydlo exceeded all expectations; he raced through vast tracts of practical chemistry, history, alchemy, the discovery of oxygen, the internal combustion engine, and on occasion, introduced music too.
His lecture was interspersed with flashes, bangs, color changes, detonations and eruptions, keeping the 350-strong crowd on the edge of their seats throughout.’ This lively, multi-media approach characterizes Szydlo’s performances, which include experiments drawn from a wide repertory, ranging from the chemistry of color to pyrotechnics and high explosives.