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Too Old to Be a Genius

Jim Al-Khalili investigates whether there is a link between age and scientific creativity. At 53, does Jim still stand a chance of making his big discovery?

Jim Al-Khalili is old. Well, not that old. He's 53. But when you consider that the average age to win a Nobel Prize in physics is 55, he hasn't got long to make his big discovery.

Albert Einstein said a person who's not made their great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.

So is there a link between scientists' age and their ability to make great breakthroughs? Jim calls together his colleagues at the University of Surrey to form a senior scientists support group and to try and find an answer.

Jim talks to Nobel Prize winning researchers, including Harry Kroto and Roald Hoffman, as well as other innovators who made great leaps forward at a young age. He learns what fuelled their early success and whether they could do the same today.

Producer: Kate Lamble
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Wed 25 Nov 2015 21:00


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