Main content

Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili is the presenter of The Life Scientific on Radio 4. He talks to leading scientists about their work, finding out what inspires and motivates them and asking what their discoveries might do for mankind.

Jim Al-Khalili's website

Listen below to audio clips from Jim Al-Khalili's Science Explorer journey

Biography

Public scientists ... were regarded as a "lower calibre" ... thankfully that attitude is changing fast.
Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili has presented The Life Scientific on Radio 4 since 2011. Although his ‘day job’ is as an academic professor of physics at the University of Surrey, where he also has a chair in the public engagement in science, he has achieved wider prominence as a public scientist, author and broadcaster. He has fronted a number of radio and television documentaries, mainly on BBC4, including Chemistry: A Volatile History, which was nominated for a BAFTA in 2010.                                                                                                                                                                                                     The son of an English mother and Arab father, Jim was born and raised in Iraq, but left that country with his parents in 1979. He lives with his wife, Julie, in Southsea in Hampshire and has two grown up children at university.

The further you zoom in ... the more complicated it is.
Jim Al-Khalili

His academic career in theoretical nuclear physics began with a postdoctoral research fellowship at University College London, after which he returned to the University of Surrey, where he was appointed as a lecturer in 1992 and where he continues to teach and conduct his research in quantum physics. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association. He has been a Senior Adviser to the British Council, Vice President of the British Science Association and a past judge on both the Samuel Johnson book prize and the Art Fund prize.

...by my mid-teens I was no longer religious.
Jim Al-Khalili

Jim was honoured with an OBE in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work in communicating science and was the youngest ever recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for science communication in 2007. His popular science books have been translated into over 20 languages and include Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines, Nucleus: A Trip into the Heart of Matter, Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed, Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Paradox: Nine Great Engimas in Physics and the forthcoming Quantum Life: How Fundamental Physics is Revolutionising Biology.

Of course I'm interested in Time Travel.
Jim Al-Khalili

On television, Jim has presented Horizon: The Hunt for the Higgs (BBC2, 2012); Brave New World (Channel 4, 2011); Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (BBC4, 2011); Horizon: Fukushima: Can We Trust Nuclear Power? (BBC2, 2011); Everything and Nothing, (BBC4, 2011); Genius of Britain, (Channel 4, 2010); Chemistry: A Volatile History, (BBC4, 2010) ; The Secret Life of Chaos (BBC4, 2010); Science and Islam (BBC4, 2009); Lost Horizons: The Big Bang (BBC4, 2008); Atom (BBC4, 2007); The Riddle of Einstein’s Brain (Channel 4, 2004).