Muriel Howorth – Atomic Gardener
In The Odditorium (Chambers, 2016)
A chapter on the extraordinary life and work of Muriel Howorth, science fiction writer, composer, choreographer and pioneering atomic gardener. For The Odditorium, a compendium of unacknowledged eccentrics, trickers, deviants and obsessives. The book was compiled and edited by David Bramwell and Jo Keeling.
Muriel Howorth was an amateur nuclear scientist who experimented during the Cold War in the UK seaside town of Eastbourne. Inspired by scientists at Oak Ridge, Tennessee (home of the Manhattan Project), Howorth composed and directed her own amateur atomic ballet Isotopia. She also founded the UK Atomic Gardening Society – an example of citizen science and mass experimentation, conducted through the Post Office. Their aim was to use ‘atom blasted’ seeds to grow a giant, mutant vegetable that would cure world hunger.