Roger Highfield: 80 per cent executive at the Science Museum Group / 20 per cent author, journalist and broadcaster. Views expressed here are 100 per cent his own.
Roger Highfield was born in Wales, raised in north London and became the first person to bounce a neutron off a soap bubble. He was the Science Editor of The Daily Telegraph for two decades and the Editor of New Scientist between 2008 and 2011. Today, he is the Science Director of the Science Museum Group, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a visiting professor of public engagement at the Dunn School, University of Oxford, and Department of Chemistry, UCL, and a member of the UKRI-Medical Research Council. Roger has written ten books and had thousands of articles published in newspapers and magazines. Here's more of his CV
(Photo credit: George Blumberg)
In Brief
Born 1958 in Wales
Live in Greenwich, London, with my wife and two children.
The spoof Telegraph front page that marked my departure after 22 years.
The spoof New Scientist front page that marked my departure after three years.
My last issue of New Scientist. The brilliant cover was created by Art editor Craig Mackie.
Christ's Hospital, Horsham (69-76) MA (chemistry, 76-80, Oxford University) and Dphil (neutron scattering from thin films, 80-83), Oxford University, also working at Unilever, Southampton University and Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble, France. Research on specular reflection of neutrons (supervisor Dr R K Thomas FRS).
Domus Scholarship, Pembroke College Oxford (1977); Visiting Sabbatical Fellow, Balliol College, Trinity 1994, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University, Trinity 1989, SCR, Lincoln College Oxford 2018
Visiting Professor, Dunn School, University of Oxford, and Department of Chemistry, UCL
S. Jones (University of Reading), C. Scott (University of Reading), R. Highfield (Science Museum), C. Lintott (University of Oxford) A subjective ranking of the visual complexity of coronal mass ejections, AGU, Fall Meeting, 2019
J.B. Hayter, R.R. Highfield, B.J. Pullman, R.K. Thomas, A.I. McMullen and J. Penfold Critical reflection of neutrons. A new technique for investigating interfacial phenomena, J. Chem. Soc., Faraday Trans. 1, 1981,77, 1437-1448, DOI: 10.1039/F19817701437
R.R Highfield, R.P Humes, R.K Thomas, P.G Cummins, D.P Gregory, J Mingins, J.B Hayter, O Schaerpf, Critical reflection of neutrons from a soap film, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Volume 97, Issue 2, February 1984, Pages 367-373
R.R. Highfield, R.K. Thomas, P.G. Cummins, D.P. Gregory, J. Mingins, J.B. Hayter, O. Schaerpf, Critical reflection of neutrons from Langmuir-Blodgett films on glass, Thin Solid Films, Volume 99, Issues 1-3, Pages 165-172
A. Hampshire, R.R. Highfield, B.L. Parkin, A.M. Owen, Fractionating Human Intelligence, Neuron, 2012 Volume 76 Issue 6 Pages 1225-1237
Peter V Coveney, Edward R Dougherty, Roger R Highfield, Big Data Need Big Theory Too, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A, vol 374, Issue 2080 November 2016 DOI 10.1098/rsta.2016.0153
Peter V Coveney, Roger R Highfield, From digital hype to analogue reality: Universal simulation beyond the Quantum and Exascale eras, Journal of Computational Science, Volume 46, 2020, 101093, ISSN 1877-7503
Coveney, Peter & Highfield, Roger. (2021). When we can trust computers (and when we can't)
Clinical reporter on Pulse, magazine for general practitioners (83-84); news editor of Nuclear Engineering International (84-86).
Joined The Daily Telegraph in 1986 as Technology Correspondent. Technology Editor in 1987. Became Science Editor in 1988.
Became Editor of New Scientist in 2008. Left in 2011.
External examiner, City University (2010-2011).
Contributing Editor, Wired UK.
1980s, for Economist, Guardian, New Scientist, Sunday Times and Observer. Esquire columnist in 1993 and Esquire science editor 1996-98. Columnist for High Life. Since then, also written for The Spectator, Conde Nast Traveler, Science, Newsweek and the Evening Standard.
Regular contributions to BBC radio, notably Scope, Acid Test, Science Now, Leading Edge, the Infinite Monkey Cage and Museum of Curiosity. Also George Hook, On Newstalk in Ireland, and assorted appearances on Sky, Today, Al Jazeera and CNN.
Winner and runner up/shortlisted in various awards including the British Press Awards; Medical Journalists Association; Association of British Science Writers. Shortlisted, New Consumer Editor of the year, BSME Awards. Shortlisted, BSME Editor of the Year, newspapers and current affairs. Awarded the 2012 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar prize lecture. On the Evening Standard's list of 1000 most influential Londoners 2012 and in 2016.
Cambridge and Cheltenham Science Festivals. Tribeca Film Festival, New York. QM2. Royal Institution. Royal Society. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Hay, Cheltenham, Oxford and Edinburgh Book Festivals. Festival della Scienza, Genoa. Various discussions, including at the Royal Society, Science Museum and 10 Downing Street. Association of Science Education. Chatham House. Interview Lectures with Walter Isaacson, Ben Miller, Tim Hunt, Andre Geim, Venki Ramakrishnan and Demis Hassabis. Awarded the 2012 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar prize lecture. Keynote speaker at the annual summit of the Science Foundation Ireland. Co-curator, TedX London 2016. Alchemy Lecture, with Sophie Waring, British Library 2017. How to Engage Millions of People, Dunn School, University of Oxford, and Department of Chemistry, UCL. Interview with Venki Ramakrishnan and Eugenia Cheng. Interview with Louise Brown on the 40TH of IVF. Interview with Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientist. Event with Roger Penrose.
Climate talks, with Jim Lovelock, Helen Czerski, Chris Rapley and Zamzam Ibrahim
Organiser of the New Enlightenment, aka 'McDavos' in 2021
Chaired the Campaign for Science and Engineering debate among science spokesmen.
Pro Bono
Advisory Group, Twenty First Century Science project of the Nuffield Foundation
Advisor, 2016 and 2017 Debrett's 500 list
Judge of Institute of Physics/STFC Physics Journalism Prize 2015.
Judge, MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Award, 2013 and 2018-2021.
Judge for Samuel Johnson Prize 2010
Judge for the Eurostem Cell Non Fiction Writing Competition.
Member of Advisory Committee for Mosaic.
Member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.
Judge of the science category of the Morgan Stanley Great Briton Awards
Established Visions of Science and science writer competitions and helped to organise LiveLab/Megalab mass experiments with the BBC.
Former Member, Royal Society Science Policy Advisory Group.
Former member of the Advisory Committee for the Science Museum, London.
Former member of HPA's Health Protection and Society Advisory Group.
Former member of the Bioscience Futures Forum.
Former member of the Royal Society Science in Society Committee.
Former member of the the Advisory Council for Chemistry, Oxford University, and British Association for the Advancement of Science public affairs committee 1987-1993.
Former member of the Royal Society/British Association/Royal Institution Committee on the Public Understanding of Science.
Former advisor, FameLab.
Former advisor, Imperial College science communication course.
Books (UK editions)
The Arrow of Time; The quest to solve time's greatest mystery (WH Allen) 1990
The Private Lives of Albert Einstein (Faber) 1993
Frontiers of Complexity: The Search for Order in a Chaotic World (Faber) 1995
Can Reindeer Fly? The Science of Christmas. (Metro) 1998 (W&N) 2001.
The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works (Headline) 2002.
After Dolly: The uses and misuses of Human Cloning (Little Brown) 2006.
Supercooperators: The Mathematics of Evolution, Altruism and Human Behaviour (Or, Why We Need Each Other to Succeed) (Canongate) 2011.
The Dance of Life; Symmetry, Cells and How we Become Human (W H Allen) Summer 2019.
Books (External Editor)
A Life Decoded; My Genome My Life (Allen Lane Science) 2007
Life at the Speed of Light (Penguin) 2013
Books (External Contributor)