Understanding the Universe with AI

A Gresham College lecture as Visiting Professor of Cosmology, part of the series “The Unexpected Universe“. Digital technology from the early 1990s onwards produced an exponential increase in astronomical data. Within our lifetime, the entirety of the visible universe will have been mapped out: we will have seen everything there is to see. The question will then […]

Vintage 2020: A reflection on the sensual universe that is fading away from us

Originally published in TT JOURNAL, VOL.1, ISSUE 1, 3RD NOVEMBER 2020 September 2020. The bunch of grapes felt surprisingly ponderous as it fell into my cupped hand, released to the tireless pull of gravity with a staccato snap of my shears. The grapes were perfectly formed, with just a hint of velour over their smooth, […]

Mysteries of the Dark Cosmos

Posted on Mar 2, 2021 in Gresham College, Outreach, Public lecture, Science, universe

A Gresham College lecture as Visiting Professor of Cosmology, part of the series “The Nature of Reality“. Dark matter and dark energy together make up 95% of our Universe. Yet, very little is known about them.  This lecture will present the endeavours of cosmologists and particle physicists, as they attempt to explain the fundamental nature of these […]

What Has Einstein Ever Done for You?

Posted on Feb 15, 2021 in Gresham College, Outreach, Public lecture, Science

A Gresham College lecture as Visiting Professor of Cosmology, part of the series “The Nature of Reality“. Albert Einstein’s mind-boggling ideas revolutionized our view of the universe. From relativity to curved spacetime, from the Big Bang to black holes and gravitational waves, nothing could be further from our everyday experience than such esoteric concepts, right? Wrong!  This […]

Neutrino: the particle that shouldn’t exist

Posted on Feb 2, 2021 in Gresham College, Outreach, Public lecture, Science

A Gresham College lecture as Visiting Professor of Cosmology, part of the series “The Unexpected Universe“. In 1930, the great physicist Wolfgang Pauli did something that “no theorist should ever do”: he invented a new particle that he thought nobody could ever detect in order to save the principle of energy conservation in certain radioactive […]

Inaugural lecture: From the Big Bang to AI

Posted on Jun 9, 2020 in AI, Bayes, Outreach, Public lecture, Research, Science, universe

My inaugural lecture as Professor of Astrostatistics at Imperial College London on Jan 15th 2020. A truly unique opportunity for me to sum up what I’ve learnt, from dark matter to Bayes, to the the audience to taste dark matter and feel the dark matter wind (!) and to share the journey. An unforgettable, emotional […]

Weighing the Universe

Posted on Apr 17, 2020 in Gresham College, 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, […]

Why Society Needs Astronomy and Cosmology

A public lecture given as Guest Professor at Gresham College London on March 15th 2016. “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. Faraday’s reputation as one of the greatest scientists of his time was […]

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 […]