Phil Mason

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Phil Mason
Born Philip E. Mason
1972 (age 45–46)[1][2]
Known for
Alma mater University of Birmingham
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry, physics, nuclear physics
Institutions Cornell University
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Thesis Novel Architectures in Polymer Chemistry (1997)
Doctoral advisor I.W. Parsons[3]
YouTube information
Subscribers 770,000+
Total views 207+ million
Subscriber and view counts updated as of June 6, 2018.

Philip E. Mason is a British scientist and videoblogger who posts YouTube videos criticizing creationism, religion, pseudoscience and feminism, under the pseudonym Thunderf00t. He works as a scientist in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Early life[edit]

Mason received a BSc (2:1) (1993) and PhD (1997) in chemistry from the University of Birmingham.[3] From 2003[4] until at least August 2010, Mason was affiliated with the University of Bristol.[5]


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,[6] 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.[3] Mason has argued that alkali metal reactions with water can cause a Coulomb explosion.[7][8]

Online activities[edit]


Through his YouTube account Thunderf00t, he has made a series of videos titled "Why do people laugh at creationists?",[9] 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."[10] 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[11] and intelligent design proponent Casey Luskin.[12]

Anita Sarkeesian[edit]

As part of the Gamergate controversy, Mason criticized feminist critic and video blogger Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series.[9] Mason's Twitter account was temporarily suspended on 19 September 2014 for allegedly engaging in abusive behaviour towards Sarkeesian and other feminists.[9][13] Mason speculated the suspension was retaliation for his criticism of Sarkeesian, part of a short-lived campaign that had been mounted against him.[14]


  1. ^ Mason, Phil (9 May 2014). "Thunderf00t and Venomfangx Reunion -Live". Thunderf00t/YouTube. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Thunderf00t (24 July 2009). "The Thunderf00t - Ray Comfort discussion (Part 4)". Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Phil Mason". Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  4. ^ 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 404697Freely accessible. PMID 12684536. 
  5. ^ "News". University of Bristol. August 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Experimental molecular dynamics studies of water structuring by sugars
  7. ^ Philip Ball (26 Jan 2015). "Sodium's explosive secrets revealed". 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ a b c McAllister, Denise C. (27 September 2016). "YouTube's Heroes Program Empowers The Speech Police". The Federalist.
  10. ^ Cimino, Richard (2014). Atheist Awakening: Secular Activism and Community in America. Oxford University Press. p. 99. 
  11. ^ "Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 37) William Lane Craig". 
  12. ^ Farley, Tim (November–December 2009). "Skepticism via YouTube". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Strickland, Derek (20 September 2014). "Twitter Suspends Anita Sarkeesian Critic for 'Abusive Behavior'". Bright Side of News. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Mason, Phil (16 September 2014). "Thunderf00t suspended from twitter- 'Sarkeesian strike back' #Gamergate". Thunderf00t, YouTube.

External links[edit]