Weighing the Universe

Posted on Apr 17, 2020 in Outreach, Public lecture, Science, universe

A public lecture given on Nov 4th 2019 as Visiting Professor of Cosmology at Gresham College, London. Part of a three lecture series in 2019-2020 on “The Nature of Reality”. Surely you can’t “weigh” the Universe?!  Let us begin by clarifying the title of this lecture: “weighing” is not quite the right word. In fact, […]

Uncertain Ruins – From The Big Bang to AI

Posted on Mar 1, 2020 in AI, Art and Science, Machine Learning, News, Outreach, universe

I was invited to contribute a piece responding from the perspective of astrostatistics to the timely and exciting show “Uncertain Ruins”, a “a site-responsive collaboration by artist Julie F Hill and Gauld Architecture that draws on the social, material and historical context of the Swiss Cottage Library in which the gallery is located”, part of the Passen-gers site-specific exhibition […]

Dining with Copernicus

Posted on Feb 12, 2020 in Multi-Sensory, Outreach, Public lecture, universe

In Sept 2018, I had the pleasure to be invited to take part to an “immersive dinner experience” organised by the Polish Cultural Institute in London. Combining theatre, history, astronomy and cuisine, the evening celebrated in an entertaining manner Polish history and the discoveries of Nicolaus Copernicus. I gave the “Astronomer’s Speech”, on the life […]

Today on the arXiv: Light echo gives insight into SNIa dust environment

Posted on Oct 12, 2016 in astro-ph, Research, universe

I noticed this interesting paper using high resolution, multi-epoch images from Hubble to study the time evolution of the aftermath of the explosion of SNIa SN204J, which went off in 2014 in the nearby galaxy M82 (a mere 11 million light years away). The data show the presence of a radially expanding light echo, as well […]

Today on the arXiv: Prospector-alpha opens the way to high-accuracy photometry-based estimation of galactic properties

Posted on Sep 30, 2016 in astro-ph, Research, Science, universe

There is a terrific paper on today’s arXiv: The Prospector-alpha code is an impressive new approach to estimating a large number of important physical parameters of galaxies, including indicators for the galaxy’s star formation history, its metallicity, its mass and dust content. The code contains a large number of free physical parameters (describing star formation […]

Why Society Needs Astronomy and Cosmology: a Gresham College Guest Lecture

This is the text accompanying a Gresham College Guest Lecture I gave on March 15th 2016. Audio recording of the lecture: Video of the lecture available here “One day, Sir, you may tax it!” In 1850 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Gladstone, reportedly visited Michael Faraday’s laboratory at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. […]

Butchery or beauty? Explaining complex science using only the most common 1,000 words in English

Posted on Sep 23, 2016 in Outreach, The Edge of The Sky, universe

A version of this post appeared on the British Council’s VOICES blog on Nov 12th 2014 Would you try and cross the South Pole wearing only flip-flops? Or row across the Atlantic on an inflatable swimming pool? Or describe the beauty and mystery of the Universe using only the most common 1,000 words in English? As a […]

g-ASTRONOMY: The cosmos at the tip of your tongue

Posted on Sep 20, 2016 in g-ASTRONOMY, Outreach, Public lecture, Science, universe

Astrophysics provides us with an exciting, engaging way to talk about the science of the cosmos and its importance for society. Posted on the IOP blog on Sept 20th 2016 Interest for astronomy and astrophysics is also one of the most-often cited reasons by students taking up physics at undergraduate level. But by its nature […]