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Professor Sir Michael Berry
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Professor Sir Michael Berry is a theoretical mathematical physicist at the University of Bristol.  He is perhaps best known for his work with the Berry Phase, a phase observed in optics and quantum mechanics.  He is a fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 2006 for his services to science. When I come to work in the morning, I often don't know...

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Professor Marcus Munafo
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Marcus Munafo is professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol.  The bulk of his research focuses on understanding pathways into, and the subsequent consequences of, health and mental health.  He has particular focus on addictive substances, primarily tobacco and alcohol use. No single study or article is going to be authoritative On becoming interested in science Well, how I got to where...

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Dame Professor Athene Donald
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Dame Athene Donald is Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge.  Her research focuses primarily on soft matter physics and its structures and relationships with living organisms.  Her list of awards and honours is extensive, including being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, numerous honorary doctorates and Women in Science awards.  In 2010, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order...

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Dr Matt Taylor
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Dr Matt Taylor

Nov 13, 2015

Dr Matt Taylor is an astrophysicist who, with the European Space Agency, is the Project Scientist of the Rosetta mission, which became the first successful mission in human history to land a space probe on a comet.  He received a PhD in space physics from Imperial College London and has been an author on over 70 publications.  He has also made numerous appearances on...

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Anna Ziegler
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Anna Ziegler

Sep 19, 2015

Anna Ziegler is a multiple award-winning American playwright.  Her plays have been produced across the world, from New York to Berlin to London, and include Boy, Another Way Home, Dov and Ali and Photograph 51.  Photograph 51 was a critically acclaimed success in the States and transfers to the West End of London in 2015.  The play focuses on the work of Rosalind Franklin,...

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Dr Sebastian Breitenbach
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Dr Sebastian Breitenback is a German research associate at the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University.  His work focuses on climate change, paleoclimate systems and Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere systems, with a particular interest in clumped isotope paleothermometry and carbonates.  His most recent paper created a great deal of buzz as he and his colleagues uncovered ancient Chinese cave drawings linked to climate change. We have...

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Melanie Keene
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Melanie Keene

Sep 19, 2015

Melanie Keene is the Director of Studies for History and Philosophy of Science at Homerton College, Cambridge.  Her research focuses primarily on the history of science for children in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in Britain.  In 2015 her first book was published, ‘Science in Wonderland: The Scientific Fairytales of Victorian Britain’. That really sprouted this whole interest in how children began to...

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Professor Carlos Frenk
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Professor Carlos Frenk is a cosmologist who won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2014.  His research is in the fields of cosmology, galaxy formation and computer simulations of cosmic structure formation.  he is the current Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University in the UK, where he builds model universes in state of the art computers.  I...

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Tom Morton-Smith
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Tom Morton-Smith

Aug 1, 2015

Tom Morton-Smith is an English playwright.  A former writer in residence for Paine’s Plough, Tom has written a number of acclaimed plays, most recently the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘Oppenheimer’.  The play, about physicist Robert J Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project, was a huge commercial and critical success, playing at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon before transferring for a sell-out run in The West...

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Ben Miller
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Ben Miller

Jun 12, 2015

Ben Miller is an actor, writer and director probably best known for being one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller.  He has starred in the TV series of the same name as well as a huge variety of television shows, films and plays, including most recently the film What We Did on Our Holiday and the West End hit The Duck House. ...

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Dr Sheena Cruickshank
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Dr Sheena Cruickshank

Jun 12, 2015

Dr Sheena Cruickshank is the academic lead for the public engagement of science at Manchester University.  As part of the Manchester Immunology Group, much of her work focuses on immunology and specifically infection and parasitology.  Her current research focuses on defining and developing biomarkers to help manage gut inflammation found in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. So basically we evolved to have parasitic diseases On earliest...

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Professor Marcel Dicke
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Professor Marcel Dicke

Jun 12, 2015

Professor Marcel Dicke investigates the ecology of insect-plant interactions.  He is a winner of the Dutch Nobel Prize and is the world’s leading advocate of using insects as a sustainable source of protein for human consumption.  He has met with leading politicians to discuss the future of food security on earth and published the best-selling ‘The Insect Cookbook’.  Marcel is based at Wageningen University...

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Claudia Hammond
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Claudia Hammond

Apr 20, 2015

  Claudia Hammond is an award-winning author, broadcaster and psychology lecturer.   She received her MSc in Health Psychology studying at Sussex and Surrey University.   Whilst she still lectures in the subject at Boston University in London she is perhaps best known as the long term presenter of BBC’s ‘All in the Mind’ and the author of a number of popular psychology books...

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Alexei Sayle
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Alexei Sayle

Apr 20, 2015

Alexei Sayle is a comedian, author and writer who was a central part of the  British alternative comedy scene in the 1980s.  His comedy is often surreal whilst dealing with, particularly of late, political issues.  Alexei has recently returned to stand up but is still probably most remembered as one of the creators, writers and performers of the BBC series ‘The Young Ones’. I...

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Dr Robin Hesketh
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Dr Robin Hesketh

Apr 20, 2015

Dr Robin Hesketh is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge.  For over 30 years he has worked as a research scientist on the subject of cancer.  He is the author of many papers and books on the subject including the authoritative textbook ‘Introduction to Cancer Biology’.  In a first for a comedy event, he had blood taken...

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Steve Backshall
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Steve Backshall

Mar 2, 2015

Steve Backshall is one of the best-known wildlife TV presenters in Britain, working primarily with the BBC’s Natural History Unit.  He studied arts, and later biology, at university before moving into presenting.  His TV work has seen him win two BAFTAs and front a variety of shows including Lost Land of the Jaguar, The Really Wild Show and the hugely popular Deadly 60.  When...

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Professor Matthew Cobb
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Matthew Cobb is a Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester.  With an initial background in psychology, these days much of his laboratory studies involve working with maggots and focus on how the sense of smell works.  He has also published a number of books on both science and history, and his latest book focusing on the race to crack the genetic code...

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Steve Aylett
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Steve Aylett

Mar 2, 2015

Steve Aylett is a British satirical science fiction writer.  Amongst novels and other comic books, Steve created Jeff Lint, a fictional author, who has been referenced across much of his work including a film about the character that featured the likes of Alan Moore, Josie Long and Robin Ince.  He is also a synesthete, a writer who does not think in words. I really...

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Reverend Richard Coles
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The Reverend Richard Coles is a musician, journalist and priest.  He had a number of top ten hits with his band The Communards in the eighties.  After leaving the band, he gained a BA in Theology at King’s College London before being ordained a priest in 2005.  He is often referred to as being a very ‘modern vicar’, helped by his hosting slots on...

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Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou
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Francesca Stavrakopoulou is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion in the Theology and Religion department at the University of Exeter.   She is a regular on television panel shows about religion and presented a three part-documentary series for the BBC on the Bible and archaeology entitled ‘Bible’s Buried Secrets’.  A staunch atheist, Francesca’s work involves looking at ancient religious texts from a scientific viewpoint,...

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Dr Richard Vranch
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Dr Richard Vranch

Jan 9, 2015

Richard Vranch might be best known to British audiences as ‘Richard at the piano’ from the original series of Whose Line Is It Anyway? or as a member of the Comedy Store Players where he has performed improvised comedy twice a week for as long as he can remember.  A regular on British radio and television, before turning to comedy he worked as a...

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