Science & Engineering

I'm still excited about how science has changed our relationship with the world. In all sorts of practical ways, from space flight to surgery, we are able to control forces that our ancestors saw as mysterious and all-powerful. We all live longer, travel further, know more and have more time to spend on what's important, because of technological progress. It's also fascinating to learn about the world, and how human investigation has opened it up.
On the other hand, I don't think we should be too quick to abandon democratic debate and political argument as soon as somebody plays the "scientific evidence" trump card.

I'm part of a new BBC Radio 4 psychology series called Human Zoo , which returns in July 2013. I'm more of an exhibit than a zookeeper.

I produced a debate on Brain Sex - do men and women think differently? as part of the Battle of Ideas festival 2011. That threw up so many questions I'm now doing a solo comedy show about it. You can see BrainSex at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe.

I've also spoken on being Seduced by Statistics, and wrote an article on being Seduced by Stats for the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Now I appear on the BBC Headsqueeze channel's Number Hub asking questions like "which toilet should I use?"

I've worked with Cheltenham Science Festival's FameLab® from Hong Kong to NASA HQ. I host and produce public science events for all sorts of people and run workshops in public engagement for the British Council, the Royal Academy of Engineers and others. A member of the Association of British Science Writers, I write journalism and other material on science.

In 2010 I took a comedy to the Edinburgh Fringe with stand-up mathematician Matt Parker. Your Days Are Numbered; the maths of death was so popular (as well as "exponentially funny") that we toured the UK and Australia with it in 2012 & made a short film with Worldwrite: Your Days Are Numbered We did a new show for Edinburgh 2012 - Humans V Nature: engineering FTW.
With the Comedy Research Project, I test the hypothesis that science can be funny. I also co-wrote a comedy featuring the solar neutrino anomaly that was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 only weeks after they solved the 15-year astronomical mystery.