Erica McAlister – entomologist (#103)

Erica McAlister is Senior Curator of Diptera and Siphonaptera at The Natural History Museum, London, where she has worked here for 15 years concentrating on lower Brachycera, Culicidae and Mycetophilidae. Recently she published a popular science book ‘The Secret Life of Flies’ which won the 2019 Zoological Society of London’s Clarivate Analytics Award for Communicating Zoology. She is the President of the Amateur Entomological Society and has also been awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the Royal Society of Entomology.

Dr Michael de Podesta – physicist (#102)

Michael de Podesta is 59 years old in 2019. He studied Physics at Sussex University (1978-81) and after almost ‘dropping out’ he went on to finish a PhD there on the arcane properties of metals at cryogenic temperatures. He went on to work as a lecturer in Physics at Birkbeck College and University College before leaving academia in 2000 to work at NPL. His work at NPL is mainly related to temperature measurement, but in 2004 he started Protons for Breakfast, a course on physics for the general public which ran twice a year until 2014. He was awarded an MBE for services to science in 2009.

Kevin Quantum – Magician>Scientist Hybrid (#84)

Twelve years ago, unassuming scientist Kevin paused his Physics PhD to become a magician, being tutored by none other than magic royalty Penn & Teller. Having now spent the first ten years of his adult life completely immersed in Physics and the next ten in magic, Kevin is the most likely the only person on the planet who’s reached the required 10,000 hours needed to make you an ‘expert’ – in both areas. Kevin has since appeared in BBC documentaries, consulted for the National Theatre of Scotland & taught Eddie Izzard magic for a movie role. He was the first magician to perform at the Globe Theatre in London and is Artistic Director of the UK’s largest Magic Festival – The Edinburgh International Magic Festival. 

Dr Tom Hiscock – systems biologist (#76)

Tom is a research scientist trying to understand how embryos develop into animals. He started life as a single-celled embryo in the small town of Battle on the south coast (of ‘Battle of Hastings’ fame). Since then, science has taken him on many adventures and to many places, including Boston USA where he trained, and... Continue Reading →

Dr Jackie Bell – space ambassador (#61)

Jackie is a Senior Teaching Fellow at Imperial College, London. After graduating with a PhD in theoretical particle physics for the University of Liverpool she went on to manage a host of national STEM programmes before being named the North West, Wales and Ireland’s ‘STEM Rising Star’ at the 2018 Forward Ladies Regional Awards. In 2017 Jackie took part in the BBC Science production 'Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?'. For this she was selected from over 3,000 applicants to take part and to undertake tests similar to those used in the astronaut selection process at major space agencies.

Interview 53. – Dr Heather Williams

Dr Heather Williams is a Principal Medical Physicist for Nuclear Medicine at The Christie Hospital and honorary Lecturer at the University of Manchester, focussing on teaching imaging physics and positron emission tomography (PET) research. Heather is also a Director of ScienceGrrl, STEMNET ambassador, and active member of the IPEM Nuclear Medicine Special Interest Group and IoP Women in Physics Group committees. Heather also likes standing up and talking about science, and encouraging others (particularly women) to do so. When she's not busy with all that, Heather enjoys running, hiking and introducing her sons to the wonders of the universe, often at the same time.

Interview 44. – Dr Helen Pilcher

Helen Pilcher is a tea-drinking, biscuit-writing science and comedy writer. She writes for the likes of Nature and New Scientist, and is currently working on her second book, which is about the changing face of evolution. In a former life, Helen was a scientist but she managed to escape from the lab, and now spends time teaching scientists how to communicate more effectively. Helen also comperes debates and comedy shows, and gives talks at festivals, live shows and other events.

Interview 33. – Prof. John Bryant

Biologist based at Exeter University with many years of experience in research on the biochemistry of genes. He introduced one of the first bioethics courses for biology students in a UK university and runs workshops for biologists on teaching ethics. John loves mountains, marshes and other wild places and enjoys bird-watching. He is a keen runner, a Bob Dylan fan and supports Crystal Palace football club.

Interview 26. – Prof. Andrew Halestrap

Andrew Halestrap is Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Senior Research Fellow at Bristol University. His research interests include how lactic acid crosses cell membranes and the role of mitochondria in the healthy and diseased heart.  He has published more than 200 original research papers, is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded Keilin Memorial Lecture of the Biochemical society in 2010. He is Chairman of Christians in Science and has served in various leadership roles in his church and in academia including being a past Chair of both the British Heart Foundation Project Grants Committee and the Bristol Heart Institute. 

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