iPlayer Radio What's New?

Quentin Cooper

Quentin presents BBC Radio 4's weekly The Material World, the UK's most listened to science programme and "the most accessible, funny and conversational science programme on radio" according to the Radio Times.

He's described by The Times as both "the world's most enthusiastic man" and "an expert on everything from pop music to astrophysics", by the Daily Mail as someone whose "wit and enthusiasm can enliven the dullest of topics", and by the Daily Telegraph as "dauntless" - well, that's The Telegraph for you. He's also written and presented many other TV and radio science series including Connect, Catalyst, Logged On, Strictly Conventional and With Reference To all for Radio 4; New Scientist Reports on the Discovery Channel; the long-running Science Fix for BBC Knowledge; Science in Action and Soundbyte for BBC World Service; and The Formula and Big Byte for 5Live. Also a film critic, author and - briefly - a member of a click-boxing duo with Oscar-winner Ryuichi Sakamoto, he regularly turns up on a range of other TV and radio networks, podcasts and publications including a long-standing slot covering entertainment on Radio 2 on Sunday mornings first with Michael Parkinson and now Michael Ball.

Quentin directs annual international science communication workshops for the British Council as part of the Edinburgh and Manchester Science Festivals, is an adviser or trustee for a growing number of science organisations and events including Cheltenham Science Festival, the Wellcome Trust, Newcastle's Life Centre and the Walking With Robots group, and is one of the judges for the first Wellcome Book prize. From 2001-7 he directed and hosted the nightly X-Change events at the BA and the European Science Open Forum. He also continues to run and presents regular science communication and media skills workshops for such organisations as BBC Training, the Institute of Physics, Channel 4, NERC, NESTA, The Guardian and various universities, and is increasingly in demand for such work overseas.

Among many recent events he has hosted are an ecology conference in Brazil, a forum on global diabetes in Chennai, the finals of a Europe-wide search for future science communicators in Barcelona, science communication workshops in countries from Azerbaijan to Yemen (not quite A-Z), an international student summit at the Natural History Museum, a five-hour fiery debate about the image of scientists in Moscow, a global gathering of toy designers at Lego HQ in Denmark, science discussions by video-conference everywhere from the West Bank to Siberia ... and the Royal Festival Hall's Uummannaq Day combining poetry and beat-boxing with climate science.

Quentin spends an increasing amount of time dealing with the issues surrounding climate change and the environment and is particularly entangled with the ongoing science-art Cape Farewell project having been a crew member on their 2004 Svalbard and 2008 Greenland voyages.

Quentin studied Psychology and Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University from 1979-83, which perfectly prepared him for joining BBC Radio Scotland as a news trainee in 1985. Having worked as sub-editor, reporter, producer and editor - setting up youth and music programmes featuring such then-unknowns as Eddie Mair, Armando Iannucci, Kirsty Young and Hardeep Singh Kohli - he joined the nascent Radio Five in Manchester where he united Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley on the fondly forgotten Hit The North. Then after a stint producing arts programmes for Radios 3 and 4 he somehow became a regular presenter on Kaleidoscope and film critic for Radio 5Live and BBC Breakfast. At this point his sordid science past was exposed and he began presenting science series for Radio 5Live, World Service, BBC4, Discovery Channel and - eventually - Radio 4.

Quentin Cooper

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.