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Maggie has led projects making anything from land mine detectors to satellite sub-systems that measure variables like wind speed to improve our knowledge of climate change. In presentations the Sky At Night expert talks about exploring space with missions like Rosetta, and how we live in a galaxy with 200 billion stars. Maggie believes that with 100 billion galaxies in the universe, there must be life out there – simply as a matter of probability.

As well as being a respected science communicator Jim is an active researcher specialising in theoretical nuclear physics and quantum biology. 2016 brings a new book, Life On The Edge, more Life Scientific for Radio 4 and a TV series on the history of cosmology, Beginning & End. In his presentations Jim considers anything from the case for nuclear power plants to the weirdness of the quantum world, prospects for time travel and Medieval Arabic science.

Originally an electronics engineer specialising in computing, Kate began her broadcast career on Tomorrow’s World. She has worked on programmes for the Open University, 5Live and ITV. Kate is a Patron of WISE – Women into Science, Engineering and Construction and was awarded a UKRC Women of Outstanding Achievement Award for her work in communicating science, engineering and technology.

James concentrates on the relationship between emerging technologies and the way we live, work and do business. He considers the age of ‘big data,’ the ageing population and the rise of a billion-strong global middle class. He also assesses the consequences of the shift in the balance of economic power and its impact on the world’s financial centres.

Wearing his business hat the former Shell scenario expert uses past precedents to explain the nature of innovation, looking at everything from transport and energy to technology and climate change. In a different vein, his new book examines the Ten Commandments in their true historical context. Rather than harshly imposed laws, the ten ‘devarim’ were a pioneering set of guiding principles to help a diverse community treat its members fairly.

Brian brings scientific discovery to life for millions; 2016 brings Forces of Nature and a tour of Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage. He is also a leading physicist, recreating the conditions 1/000000000th of a second after Big Bang “to confirm the universe’s underlying simplicity.” With breathtaking images, Brian shows how science shocks and excites our imagination. He also sets out the case for co-ordinated investment in science as key to job creation and growth.

Ara Darzi is a world-renowned surgeon and head of Imperial College’s research team. They use scientific and engineering disciplines to make breakthroughs in medical image computing, minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery. Professor Darzi believes that the time is coming when preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic services must be designed to individuals’ specific biomarkers. He considers the consequences, for providers and patients themselves.

Marcus is the author of The Music of the Primes, the bestselling maths book, and the presenter of The Code, The Story of Maths, and with Dara OBriain The School of Hard Sums. He looks at the maths that underpins the everyday world, from the internet, data analysis and communications to more surprising areas like sport and art.

Kevin is both astrophysicist, medical specialist and a natural storyteller. After training with NASA he now runs an intensive care unit, copresents Health Check, teaches extreme environment physiology and works with the UK Science, Technology & Facilities Council. He’s also published Extremes – probing the limits of the human body. Kevin talks about the second space age (Mars in a month), risk management, and how exploration not only solves but creates problems.

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