Jim Al-Khalili is a British professor of physics, author and broadcaster based at the University of Surrey where he currently teaches and conducts research in theoretical physics and where he holds a second chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He received his PhD in nuclear physics in 1989 and has published over a hundred papers in nuclear reaction theory, 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, between them translated into over twenty languages. His book, Pathfinders, was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize in 2013, and his latest, Life on the Edge: the coming of age of quantum biology, was shortlisted for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize. He is currently writing his first novel.
Jim is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, including the Bafta nominated Chemistry: A Volatile History (BBC4, 2010) and Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (BBC4, 2011). In 2015, he presented the acclaimed documentary Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield. For the past five years he has presented the award-winning weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific.
Jim provides expert advice for bodies such as the Royal Institution and the Royal Society where he also sits on their Education Committee. He 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 (2012–2015).
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 from the Queen in 2007 for ‘services to science’.
He lives in Hampshire with his wife, Julie, and has two grown-up children.