Who is he?

Jim is a multiple award-winning science communicator renowned for his public engagement around the world through writing and broadcasting and a leading academic making fundamental contributions to theoretical physics, particularly in nuclear reaction theory, quantum effects in biology, open quantum systems and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Jim is a theoretical physicist at the University of Surrey where he holds a Distinguished Chair in physics as well as a university chair in the public engagement in science. He received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 and has published widely in the field. His current interest is in open quantum systems and the application of quantum mechanics in biology.

He is a prominent author and broadcaster. He has written 14 books on popular science and the history of science, between them translated into twenty-six languages. His latest book, The World According to Physics, was shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, such as the Bafta nominated Chemistry: a volatile history, and he hosts the long-running weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific.

Jim is a past president of the British Science Association and a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. He received an OBE in 2007 and a CBE in 2021 for ‘services to science’.

Academic work

Jim has been an academic in the Physics Department at the University of Surrey for over 30 years. Over that time he has not missed a single year in which he has not taught Physics undergraduates. He has also been active throughout as a researcher, publishing over 100 peer reviewed papers on theoretical physics, popular science and the history of science.

The Joy of Science

Expected publication April, 2022

Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy. The Joy of Science presents 8 short lessons on how to unlock the clarity, empowerment, and joy of thinking and living a little more scientifically.

Upcoming events

Jim does not have any public events for the remainder of 2021, but will be resuming next year, particularly with events surrounding his latest book that is published in April.