Focus falls on greatest enigmas of science

Posted on 30 April 2012

Academic, author and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili will discuss some of the greatest enigmas of science in a major public lecture at the University of York.

The lecture, “Paradox: The nine greatest enigmas in science”, is part of a science engagement celebration organised by the University’s Science and Society Group. The Group seeks to find new ways for scientists to interact with the public, and encourages young people to consider studying science and pursuing a science-related career.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili's reputation as an outstanding science communicator and his commitment to public engagement make him an ideal person to help us celebrate the work of our own science communicators at York.

Professor Sir John Holman

During the fully-booked lecture on Wednesday, 2 May, Professor Al-Khalili OBE, a leading theoretical physicist, will consider some of the most famous paradoxes in science. Is Schrödinger’s cat dead or alive? Why does it get dark at night, and where are all the aliens? He will explain how these enigmas can be resolved with a little thought, and demonstrate how each can tell us a profound truth about how our Universe works.

Professor Al-Khalili is a professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, where he also holds a Chair in the Public Engagement in Science. He presents the weekly programme The Life Scientific on BBC Radio 4 and has presented several television and radio documentaries, including the BAFTA-nominated Chemistry: A Volatile History and The Secret Life of Chaos.

He has written a number of popular science books, including Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed, and Black Holes, Wormholes and Time Machines. In 2007 he was awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday medal and in 2011 the Institute of Physics Kelvin medal, both for his science communication work. In 2004, Professor Al-Khalili was chosen as one of 21 “Faces of UK Science” on permanent exhibition in London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Professor Sir John Holman, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of York, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Professor Jim Al-Khalili to York. His reputation as an outstanding science communicator and his commitment to public engagement make him an ideal person to help us celebrate the work of our own science communicators at York.”

The science engagement celebration, which will be held in the Department of Physics, features interactive stands from a range of science and science-related outreach providers from across the University. 

Admission to the lecture is by free ticket only and the event is already fully booked.

Notes to editors:

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322029

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