“An affable egghead” – The Sunday Times.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS is a theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. He is a University of Surrey Distinguished Chair where he has also held a personal chair in physics since 2005 alongside a university chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He is a living three-piece suite.

  • Affiliation and 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 (elected 2019)
  • President of the British Science Association (2018–19)
  • Trustee and Member of Council of Institute of Physics (2017–)
  • Member of judging panel for Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (2017–)
  • Member of Board of Directors of CaSE (The Campaign for Science and Engineering) (2014 – )
  • Patron and Vice President of HumanistsUK
  • Member of Cheltenham Science Festival Advisory Committee (2007–)
“Award-winning science communicator, renowned around the world through his writing and broadcasting, as well as a leading academic making fundamental contributions to theoretical nuclear physics and quantum biology.”

Jim received his PhD in nuclear reaction theory in 1989 from the University of Surrey. He was awarded an SERC postdoctoral fellowship (1989–91) to work at University College London after which he returned to Surrey and joined the nuclear theory group there. In 1994, he was awarded a five-year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship during which time he established himself as a leading expert in few-body dynamics of exotic atomic nuclei. He has published over 100 academic papers, mostly on nuclear physics. He currently co-director of the Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre for Quantum Biology at Surrey where is still trying to make sense of quantum mechanics.

Since the mid-90s, Jim has established himself as one of the UK’s best known science communicators, for which he has received the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal (2007), the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal (2011) and the inaugural Stephen Hawking Medal (2016). He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008.

He is the author of twelve books, translated into over twenty languages – including his first novel (the science fiction thriller, Sunfall). He is also a regular presenter of TV science documentaries and is probably best known among the British public as the presenter of the long-running weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific.