The public may be clinging to the image of the geeky physics boffin, as a survey out this week suggests, but Basil Singer, a quantum physicist and devotee of extreme sports, is one of a new breed fighting to dispel the myth.
Baz, as Mr Singer prefers to be known, is in the final stages of a PhD in quantum physics at University College London.
When not in the lab, the 25-year-old spends his time skateboarding, BMX stunt riding or snowboarding. He also teaches breakdancing.
He said: "Everyone has this image of a scientist as a dweeb with a big beard and goggles". Mr Singer aims to persuade children who are turning away from physics that the reality is different.
"If you bring up the fact you do quantum physics, it can be a conversation stopper," he said. "But if you say I'm messing around with atoms using big, powerful lasers, people get quite excited."