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Fairy Tale Physics?

Allan Little discusses multiverses and genes with Jon Butterworth, Jim Baggott, Hilary Rose and Stephen Minger.

On Start the Week Allan Little grapples with super-symmetric particles, superstrings and multiverses with the help of Jon Butterworth. But the writer Jim Baggott dismisses many of the ideas of modern theoretical physics as mere fairy tales and fantasy. The sociologist Hilary Rose bemoans the commercialisation of biological sciences and warns against believing the hype. But the world-renowned stem cell scientist Stephen Minger believes recent developments show great promise for the treatments of many life-threatening diseases.
Producer: Natalia Fernandez.

Available now

43 minutes

Jim Baggott

Jim Baggott is a science writer.


Farewell to Reality: How Fairytale Physics Betrays the Search for Scientific Truth is published by Constable.

Jon Butterworth

Jon Butterworth is a physics professor at University College London.  He is a member of the High Energy Physics Group on the Atlas experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.


Jonathan Butterworth

Hilary Rose

Hilary Rose is Emerita Professor at Bradford University and Visiting Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.


Genes, Cells and Brains: The Promethean Promises of the New Biology, co-written with Steven Rose, is published by Verso.


Hilary and Steven Rose will be giving a talk at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Thursday 6 June - ‘Genes, Cells and Brains: Promises of the New Biology’.

Stephen Minger

Dr Stephen Minger is Global Head of Research and Development for the Cell Technologies business of GE Healthcare Life Sciences.


Stephen will be giving a talk at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Thursday 6 June entitled ‘Stem Cells and Safer Medicines’.


Role Contributor
Presenter Allan Little
Interviewed Guest Jon Butterworth
Interviewed Guest Jim Baggott
Interviewed Guest Hilary Rose
Interviewed Guest Stephen Minger
Producer Natalia Fernandez