Tour de Science

From Our Changing World, 9:06 pm on 3 November 2016

When it comes to matters scientific, David Klein is the go-to-guy for all his mates. His curiosity about science started at primary school, when he first learned about atoms, and these days it traverses atoms to the entire universe.

Now David is setting out on a Tour de Science, to share that pleasure in the broad scope of science, and a burning sense of curiosity, with small town New Zealand.

David Klein and bike

David Klein's 'Tour de Science' is taking him around the North and South islands on a long-tailed cargo bike. Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

David won Best Newcomer at the Wellington fringe festival last year with a one-man show called ‘Toward a better understanding of the universe’. He has also taken the show to the Melbourne Fringe.

Now, he’s embarked on a science story-telling road trip that will take him to community halls around the country.

“It’s me telling the story of my life, in a really broad stroke … and the things I learned along the way.”

David cycling

David Klein doesn't drive - but he does bike - which is why he's decided to use a bicycle to travel from show to show. Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

David doesn’t drive, so his Tour de Science, as he’s dubbed it, is pedal-powered.  He’s travelling by bike - but it’s no ordinary bike. The distinctive long-tail cargo bike has enough room to carry him and all his props, which are light, foldable paper and card, and it will also serve as a table during his show.

David, who has a science degree, is the first to admit he doesn’t know everything about science, but it’s the learning and discovery that’s part of its appeal for him. And he says he is enjoying the irony of riding a bike that is called a Big Dummy.

As well as science, David has been involved in student radio and now theatre.

“I’d been aware of the Fringe Festival and theatre in general, for a while, and I hadn’t seen anything like this,” says David. “And when I thought about the story I’d tell, it’s science-based, and it’s got a really personal narrative.”

David is on tour in the South Island until Christmas, and then in the North Island early next year – he’s visiting 60 community venues, and reckons he’ll clock up more than 5000 kilometres on his bike before he finishes.

Check out his tour itinerary and book tickets, and if you see him cycling, do give him a friendly toot. You’ll know who he is - he’s the one on the long black bike, with the yellow pennant that says Tour de Science.

Tour de Science flag

Tour de Science flag Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance