History

Brilliant. Al-Khalili is the Carl Sagan of our generation.

– Professor Marcus Du Sautoy, author of ‘The Creativity Code’

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’.

Affiliation & membership

  • University of Surrey Distinguished Chair, Professor of Physics and Public Engagement in Science
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (elected 2018)
  • Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • Member of advisory panel of FQXi (Foundational Questions Institute)
  • Member of judging panel for Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (2017–)
  • Patron and Vice President of HumanistsUK
  • President, Blackham Society, HumanistsUK
  • Member of advisory board of HAPP (Oxford University Centre for History and Philosophy of Physics)
  • Patron, Orthopaedic Research UK
  • Honorary Patron, National Education Museum
  • Past President of the British Science Association (2018–19)
  • Past Trustee and Member of Council of Institute of Physics (2017–2020)
  • Past Member of Board of Directors of CaSE (The Campaign for Science and Engineering) (2014 – 2020)

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.