He is professor of physics at the University of Surrey and also has a chair in the Public Engagement of Science. He won a Faraday prize for science communication. His documentaries include Order and Disorder, Everything and Nothing, Chemistry: A Volatile History and Atom on the BBC and appeared in Channel 4’s Genius of Britain. His BBC Radio 4 series, The Life Scientific is now in its third series. He is also the author of several science books, including Paradox: The nine greatest enigmas in science and Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science.