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Jim Al Khalili


Jim Al-Khalili obtained his PhD in theoretical nuclear physics from Surrey in 1989. He spent two years as an SERC Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London before returning to Surrey in 1991. He was appointed lecturer in 1992 and, in 1994, awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship for five years. Afterward, he reverted to a full-time lecturer in the Department at Surrey. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2000 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001. In 2003, he was elected onto the Council of the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science).

Along with his teaching and research, the considerable time he spends on science engagement activities and on popularising science has culminated in his promotion in October 2006 to a newly created chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He is author of several popular science books and appears regularly on radio and television. In 2007, he was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize for Science Communication.

Among his other awards, he was made an Appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008; he has received honorary doctorates from Royal Holloway University of London (2013) University of York (2017), University of St Andrews (2019); he was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Writing in 2013; he was the Inaugural winner of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication in 2016; he was lected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2018; and he received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Science & Technology at The Asian Awards in 2019.

Jim Al-Khalili’s books include Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines (1999), Nucleus: A Trip into the Heart of Matter (2001), Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed (2004), Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science (2010), Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science (2012), Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology (2014), Quantum Mechanics (2017), Gravity (2019), Sunfall (2019), The World According to Physics (2020).