Philip E. Mason
1972 (age 46–47)
|Alma mater||University of Birmingham|
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
|Thesis||Novel Architectures in Polymer Chemistry (1997)|
|Doctoral advisor||I.W. Parsons|
|Total views||222.8+ million|
|Subscriber and view counts updated as of June 26, 2018.|
Philip E. Mason is a British chemist and YouTuber with the online pseudonym Thunderf00t. He is known for criticising religion, pseudoscience (including creationism) and feminism. He works at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
Mason worked at Cornell University's department of food science from 2002 until 2012, where he studied the molecular interactions between water and sugar molecules, as well as molecular modeling with regard to proteins and guanidinium solutions. As of 2013, he was working at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic as a member of a research group headed by Pavel Jungwirth. Mason has argued that alkali metal reactions with water can cause a Coulomb explosion.
Mason's comments on his Youtube account, where he writes as Thunderf00t have often drawn attention. A 2012 journal article stated that Thunderf00t's channel and P.Z. Myers' blog were "among the two most popular secularist hubs online."
Mason has used his online persona to critically examine a range of topics, including proposals to build roads surfaced with glass solar panels the Watson computer, and for arguing, in the words of a critic of his position, that there is a gray area in "the transition between rape and just bad sex." He has also attracted media attention for his criticisms of Anita Sarkeesian and hyperloops.
In 2015, Jenny Keller, who ran the YouTube channel "Laughing Witch", attempted to get Mason fired by sending letters to his employer. Keller claimed that these efforts were intended to pressure Mason to change what she considered sexist and Islamophobic content on his channel. After promoting the campaign online, Keller eventually provoked a response from Mason, who posted a series of videos scrutinizing Keller and the company she runs with her husband. These videos led to many of Mason's fans posting negative reviews online for the Bowie, Maryland-based company, Porcelain Tub Restoration.
Through his YouTube account Thunderf00t, he has made a series of videos titled "Why do people laugh at creationists?", focusing primarily on Kent Hovind's arguments in public seminars. Sociologist Richard Cimino has described the tone of these videos as "that of the professional, well-educated, and articulate British academic expert exposing—in voiceover—the irrational behavior and attitudes of the believer." Mason (originally known only as Thunderf00t) debated with VenomFangX, a YouTube blogger who supports creationism, in a series of public exchanges that lasted almost two years. The series also covered other creationists, such as Ray Comfort, William Lane Craig, and intelligent design proponent Casey Luskin.
- Mason, Phil (9 May 2014). "Thunderf00t and Venomfangx Reunion -Live". Thunderf00t/YouTube. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- Thunderf00t (24 July 2009). "The Thunderf00t - Ray Comfort discussion (Part 4)". Retrieved 13 January 2015.
- "Phil Mason". Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Mason, P. E.; Neilson, G. W.; Dempsey, C. E.; Barnes, A. C.; Cruickshank, J. M. (8 April 2003). "The hydration structure of guanidinium and thiocyanate ions: Implications for protein stability in aqueous solution". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (8): 4557–4561. doi:10.1073/pnas.0735920100. PMC 404697. PMID 12684536.
- "News". University of Bristol. August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Experimental molecular dynamics studies of water structuring by sugars
- Philip Ball (26 Jan 2015). "Sodium's explosive secrets revealed". Nature.com.
- Mason, PE; Uhlig, F; Vaněk, V; Buttersack, T; Bauerecker, S; Jungwirth, P (26 Jan 2015). "Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water". Nature Chemistry. 7: 250–254. doi:10.1038/nchem.2161.
- Farrelly, Elizabeth (9 June 2014). "Highways of future, where solar panels change our world". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- Smith, Christopher; Cimino, Richard (2012-02-21). "Atheisms Unbound: The Role of the New Media in the Formation of a Secularist Identity". Secularism and Nonreligion. 1 (0): 17. doi:10.5334/snr.ab. ISSN 2053-6712.
- Lisowski, John (14 April 2014). "Internet communities breed misogyny". The Daily Targum. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
- "Critic Anita Sarkeesian receives online death threats after latest Feminist Frequency video on games". VentureBeat. 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
- "Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique". New Statesman. 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
- Brown, Mike (2017-04-27). "How Realistic Is This Hyperloop One Future Map of the U.S.?". Inverse. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
- Roberts, Michael (2017-11-20). "The One Thing Hyperloop Must Do to Avoid Becoming a Disaster". Westword. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
- Pring-Mill, David (2017-08-03). "Hyperloop Projects May Be Uniquely Vulnerable to Terrorism". The National Interest. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
- "Prince George's Co. business battles". WUSA. 2015-10-30. Archived from the original on 2018-09-08. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
- McAllister, Denise C. (27 September 2016). "YouTube's Heroes Program Empowers The Speech Police". The Federalist.
- Cimino, Richard (2014). Atheist Awakening: Secular Activism and Community in America. Oxford University Press. p. 99.
- "Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 37) William Lane Craig".
- Farley, Tim (November–December 2009). "Skepticism via YouTube". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 2 April 2014.