Jim Al-Khalili is a professor of physics, author and broadcaster based at the University of Surrey where he currently teaches and conducts theoretical research in quantum mechanics. He also holds a chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He received his PhD in nuclear physics in 1989 from Surrey before working as an SERC Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL. He returned to Surrey and was awarded a five year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship in 1994 before being appointed as a permanent member of staff in 1999. He was promoted to a dual chair in both physics and in public engagement in 2005. Despite his profile as a public scientist, Jim continues to teach undergraduate physics and carry out research. He has published over one hundred papers in nuclear reaction physics, quantum mechanics and quantum biology.
Jim is active as a science communicator and has written a number of popular science and history of science books. He also writes regularly for national and international papers, such as the Guardian, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and is currently writing his first novel. Jim is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and for the past four years has presented the award-winning weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, “The Life Scientific”.
Jim has served as a trustee and vice president of the British Science Association and is a current board member of CaSE (The Campaign for Science and Engineering). He is also active in public life and a strong advocate for rationalism and secularism, and was president of the British Humanist Association between 2012 and 2015. He has been a judge on a number of prizes including the Samuel Johnson Book Prize and the Art Fund Prize. Jim is a recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and has a number of honorary degrees from UK universities. He received an OBE in 2007 for ‘services to science’.