Jim Al-Khalili

Jim Al-Khalili discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.

Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS 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.

Jim 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 Physicswas shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. Other books include Sunfall and Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science. He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, such as the Bafta nominated Chemistry: a volatile historyand 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 for ‘services to science’.

1. The scientific method https://www.newscientist.com/term/the-scientific-method/

2. The contribution of the Medieval Arabic world to science and mathematics https://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/30/science/how-islam-won-and-lost-the-lead-in-science.html

3. The Bohr-Einstein debate on the nature of reality http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/2503/1/EinsteinBohr.pdf

4. Information literacy https://www.tes.com/news/information-literacy-academic-conventions-international-benefits

5. Gertrude Bell https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2007/10/25/the-queen-of-the-quagmire/

6. The British Countryside https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2015/apr/14/your-favourite-secret-corners-of-the-british-countryside-mapped

One thought on “Jim Al-Khalili

  1. Ivan, I really enjoyed your talk with Jim Al-Khalili. As some of his points echoed our conversation I was delighted that effort is being made by such an esteemed individual to highlight less known pages of the Middle East’s history, female explorers who predated Lawrence of Arabia as well as question the value of celebrity culture. The points about scientific method information assessment could not be more timely.
    Thank you to you both.


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