David Edward Hugh Jones (20 April 1938 – 19 July 2017) was a British chemist and author, under the pen name Daedalus, the fictional inventor for DREADCO. Jones' columns as Daedalus were published for 38 years, starting weekly in 1964 in New Scientist . He then moved on to the journal Nature , and continued to publish until 2002. He published two books with columns from these magazines, along with additional comments and implementation sketches. The first was The Inventions of Daedalus: A Compendium of Plausible Schemes (1982) and the second was The Further Inventions of Daedalus (1999).

He was born on April 20, 1938, in Southwark , London. His father, Philip, was an advertising copywriter. His mother was Dorothea, née Sitters. [4] He attended Crofton Primary School in Orpington, Kent, and then Eltham College . David Jones' professional training was as a chemist. In 1962, he graduated in chemistry and completed a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Imperial College London . He worked for a year for a company specialising in the design on laboratory equipment and then as a post-doctoral fellow at Imperial where he worked on infrared spectroscopy and he began his column for New Scientist . In 1967 he took up a post as an assistant lecturer at the University of Strathclyde . After one year he moved to Runcorn where he worked as a research scientist in spectroscopy for Imperial Chemical Industries . [4] In 1974, he became the Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne . He then became an independent science consultant to industry providing ideas, brain storming services, and scientific demonstrations for television.

Some of his inventions proved practical, about 20%, would be seriously proposed or even patented by others. His most notable scientific contribution as Daedalus was possibly his prediction of hollow carbon molecules before buckminsterfullerene was made, [6] and long before its synthesizers won a Nobel prize for the discovery of fullerenes . [7] Beyond Daedalus, in scientific circles he is perhaps best known for his study of bicycle stability , [10] his determination of arsenic in Napoleon ’s wallpaper, [13] and for having designed and flown an experiment to grow a chemical garden [15] in microgravity [17] Recent (late 2016) discussion relates to the claimed invention of 3D printing in 1984 by Chuck Hull , which Jones in his Daedalus persona discussed 10 years earlier (New Scientist, 3 Oct 1974, p80).

He is also known for his series of fake perpetual-motion machines, the latest of which is in the Technisches Museum, Vienna . In 2009 a documentary film about his work and inventions, Perpetual Motion Machine , [18] was made and shown at the Newcastle Science Festival 2010. [19]

He was known in Germany as a regular guest on the 1980s TV science quiz show Kopf um Kopf ( Head to Head ), presenting interesting physics experiments. [20]

In 1972 he married Jane Burgess but the marriage only lasted one year. He had a long relationship with the artist, Naomi Hunt. His only immediate survivor is his brother, Peter Vaughan Jones , who said Jones died of complications of prostate cancer on 19 July 2017. [21] [4]