Scientist, author, broadcaster, and both Patron and Vice-President of Humanists UK.
The most wondrous and surprising thing about our world is that it is rational and explicable. Appealing to the supernatural adds nothing to our understanding of our place in the Universe.
Jim Al-Khalili is an Iraqi born theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. He is a professor at the University of surrey where he teaches and carries out his research in quantum physics.
Jim currently presents The Life Scientific on Radio 4 on Tuesday morning, where he interviews prominent scientists about their life and work. He has presented a number of science documentaries on television, particularly on BBC4 where he says he is happiest as he can really get his teeth into a subject. His work includes Atom(2007), The Secret Life of Chaos (2009), Chemistry A Volatile History (2010), which was nominated for a Bafta, Everything and Nothing (2011), Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity(2011), Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines (Taylor&Francis), Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science (Penguin Press), and Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science (Bantam).
Jim has written a number of popular science and history of science books that have been translated so far into over twenty languages. He is a trustee of the British Science Association and advises the Royal Society, the British Council, the Institute of Physics and other bodies on matters of science policy, education, funding and public engagement. In 2008, he became the youngest ever recipient of the Royal Society’s Michael Faraday prize for science communication and in 2011 won the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal. In 2008, he received an OBE for his science communication work. He lives in Southsea with his wife, Julie, and has two teenage children. And for reasons lost in the mists of time, he is a die-hard follower of Leeds United.
Jim became president of Humanists UK in January 2013. In an interview in New Humanist in March 2013 he said: “The reason why we strive for a better world and to be good is not because some old scripture or mythology tells me that I’ll be rewarded if I’m good and punished if I’m bad. But because being good defines me as a human. Anyone who wants to be good because they think they should be, not because their religion tells them to be, for me is a humanist.” You can also listen to a couple of interviews with him at http://poddelusion.co.uk/blog/
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His own website