This paper studies the Royal Society's public rhetoric of science by analysing Brian Cox, whose rise to science prominence corresponded with his period as a Royal Society University Research Fellow from 2005 to 2013. The first study, to my knowledge, to address this major figure in popular science, the paper analyses his goals and methods in light of the ‘new Enlightenment’ that was advocated by the Society's then President, Paul Nurse, in 2012. Like the founders of this national science academy in the 1660s, Nurse hailed Francis Bacon as a lodestar when it comes to inspiring awe and respect of rationality and of what science can do both in Britain and globally. Appointed as the Society's first Professor for Public Engagement in Science in 2015, Cox has worked to achieve the Society's goals of creating enthusiasm and ‘demonstrating the value of science to everyone’. He has also been instrumental in recruiting more young people to pursue a career in science. Through rhetorical analysis of a lecture video and other online material, the paper identifies some key features in his style of performance, especially regarding his methods of producing awe and wonder.