A thinktank of British scientists has come up with a new way of quickening the national intellect – a brain-taxing spin on the old formula of 100 things to do before you die.

The group, which includes the evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, neuroscientist Susan Greenfield and the inventor James Dyson, urges us all to take samples of our own DNA, measure the speed of light with chocolate, and solve the mathematical mystery of the number 137.



The list, compiled by New Scientist magazine, suggests booking to see Galileo’s middle finger (preserved in Florence) or ordering liquid nitrogen to make the “world’s smoothest ice-cream” at home.



More complicated options include joining the 300 Club at the South Pole (they take a sauna to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, then run naked to the pole in minus 100 F) or learning Choctaw, a language with two past tenses – one for giving information which is definitely true, the other for passing on material taken without checking from someone else.



The appeal to scientists of such native American precision runs through the whole collection, but the compilation’s editors, Valerie Jamieson and Liz Else, also want participants to have fun.



“You’ve only got one life, so make the most of it,” they say. “Swim in a bioluminescent lake, boil an egg with a mobile phone, or have a new species named after you.” With a little practice – carefully explained – you may also be able to achieve multiple orgasm, or, for £35,000, clone your pet cat.