27 March 2009

Little Atoms with Richard Wiseman

This weeks Little Atoms features a pre-recorded interview, Neil Denny talks to Richard Wiseman. Richard talks about his new Hauntings project, about parapsychology and the value of studying psychic phenomena, refuses to tell the worlds funniest joke, and finally exclusively reveals the line-up for The Amazing Meeting London.

Professor Richard Wiseman started his working life as an award-winning professional magician, and was one of the youngest members of The Magic Circle. He then obtained a first class honours degree in Psychology from University College London and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Edinburgh. For the past twelve years he has been the head of a research unit at the University of Hertfordshire, and in 2002 was awarded Britain's first Professorship in the Public Understanding of Psychology.

Richard Wiseman has established an international reputation for his research into unusual areas of psychology, including deception, luck and the paranormal. He has published over 40 papers in refereed academic journals, including articles in one of the world's most respected science publications, Nature. He has given invited addresses and keynote speeches in Britain and abroad, including to The Royal Society, The Royal Society for the Arts, Microsoft, Caltech, and The Royal Institution. His research has been featured on over 150 television programmes, including Horizon (BBC), Body Shock (Channel 4), 20/20 (ABC), and Dateline (NBC). He is regularly heard on BBC Radio 4, including appearances on ‘Start the Week', ‘Midweek' and ‘The Today Programme'. Feature articles about his work have regularly appeared in The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, and a recent poll revealed that he was the psychologist most frequently quoted in the British media.

Richard's first book, The Luck Factor, presents a comprehensive account of his ten-year research project into the nature of luck. This best-selling book has now been published into 14 languages and published in over 25 countries. His latest book, Quirkology, examines the curious psychology of everyday life, including laughter, lying, and love.

On the 4th April this year, Richard Wiseman will be hosting Hauntings: The Science of Ghosts at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

20 March 2009

Little Atoms with Tracey Brown

On this week's show Neil and Padraig are joined in the studio by Tracey Brown.

Tracey Brown is the Director of the charitable trust Sense About Science which seeks to respond to "the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence on issues that matter to society". It promotes the principle of independent peer review and scientific enquiry free from stigma, intimidation and political pressure.

Tracey has been the Director of Sense About Science since shortly after it was established in 2002. She has a background in social research, particularly on the social dynamics of risk, together with experience of organizing research projects in the social sciences. She spent four years working on the establishment of an EC-funded regional research and academic teaching centre in Kazan, Russia, while based at the University of Kent; she spent a year in a more commercial research environment as an analyst, setting up a research unit for crisis management specialists. She is a regular contributor to public and media debates about science and progress. This is Tracey's second appearance on Little Atoms.

13 March 2009

Little Atoms with Stephen Law

On This week's show, Neil Denny and Padraig Reidy talk to Stephen Law. Stephen Law is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London. He is also editor of THINK: Philosophy for Everyone, a journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy (published by Cambridge University Press). Stephen has published numerous books on philosophy, including The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking (on which an Oxford University online course has since been based) and The Philosophy
(aimed at children 12+). His other books include The War For Children's Minds, a defence of liberal values against religious and moral authoritarianism, and The Great Philosophers: The Lives and Ideas of History's Greatest Thinkers.

Stephen is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. He was previously a Junior Research Fellow at The Queen's College, Oxford, and holds B.Phil and D.Phil degrees in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. He has a blog at www.stephenlaw.org. Stephen Law was appointed Provost of Centre For Inquiry, London in July 2008.

06 March 2009

Little Atoms with Andrew Copson

Andrew Copson works for the British Humanist Association on education and public affairs. Andrew coordinates the BHA's campaigns for a secular state, for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief and for a rational humanist perspective on public ethical issues. He also coordinates the BHA's education work promoting understanding of Humanism as a non-religious worldview both in formal school and college curricula and to the public at large. He has written on these issues for The Guardian and New Statesman as well as various journals and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University.

Andrew graduated from Oxford with a first in Ancient and Modern History and was a member of the winning team of the 2005 Young Educational Thinker of the Year Programme. He came to the BHA in 2005 from the Citizenship Foundation.