Related to: 'Thing Explainer'

John Murray

What If?

Randall Munroe
Authors:
Randall Munroe

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERFrom the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

Ali Almossawi

Ali Almossawi works on the Firefox team at Mozilla and is an alumnus of MIT's Engineering Systems Division (MS) and Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science (MS). Previous stints included working as a research associate at Harvard and as a collaborator at the MIT Media Lab. His writing has appeared in Wired and Scientific American.

Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University, and Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the bestselling The Dawkins Delusion and, most recently, his acclaimed C. S. Lewis - A Life.

Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child, and now lives in England. She is the author of several acclaimed books. The Brother Gardeners won the American Horticultural Society Book Award and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her book Founding Gardeners was on the New York Times bestseller list. Andrea has written for many newspapers including the Guardian, LA Times and New York Times. She was the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013 and a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. She appears regularly on TV and radio.

Bryan Sykes

Bryan Sykes is a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College. He has been involved in a number of high-profile cases dealing with ancient DNA, including those of 'Otzi the Iceman', a well preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BC and 'Cheddar Man', the remains of a man found in Cheddar Gorge, from approximately 7150 BC, it is Britain's oldest complete human skeleton.Professor Sykes in best known outside the community of geneticists for his bestselling books on the investigation of human history and pre-history through studies of mitochondrial DNA.

Dom Parker

Stephanie and Dominic Parker can currently be seen on Channel 4's award winning series Gogglebox. The sixth 12-part series is currently airing every Friday evening at 9pm on Channel 4. Outside of Gogglebox, Steph and Dom own and run The Salutation, a high-end, Grade-1 listed hotel in Sandwich, Kent which has hosted royalty and celebrities alike. Their first foray into television was as part of Channel 4's Four in A Bed. Off the back of their appearance, Steph and Dom were invited to appear on the first series of Gogglebox.

Emma Young

Emma Young is an award-winning science and health journalist now based in Sheffield. She has a BSc (Hons) in psychology from the University of Durham and 20 years' experience on titles including the Guardian, the Sydney Morning Herald, and New Scientist. She also writes for Mosaic, the new Wellcome Trust magazine.

Geoff Colvin

Geoff Colvin is Fortune's senior editor-at-large and is also the author of Talent is Overrated and The Upside of the Downturn. He has served as moderator of the Fortune Global Forum, where he has interviewed Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Herb Kelleher, Peter Drucker and other business legends. Colvin graduated Harvard cum-laude with a B.A. in Economics, and received his MBA from New York University's Stern School.

Graham Lawton

After a degree in biochemistry and a MSc in science communication, both from Imperial College, Graham Lawton landed at New Scientist, where he has been for almost all the 21st century, first as features editor and now as executive editor. His writing and editing have won a number of awards.

Jennifer Daniel

Jennifer Daniel is the author of SPACE! a picture book explaining the universe through unusual visual forms. Her graphics have been translated into over ten languages and featured on NPR's Morning Edition, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter and in The New York Times. Jennifer has been recognised by many fancy design, illustration, and journalism awards including D&AD's Gold Pencil (London), Art Directors Club Gold Cube (New York), and Society of Publication Design Gold Medal (New York). She speaks about journalism and design for organisations such as Society of News Design, SXSW, and Creative Mornings. She lives in Oakland California, with her husband and two children.Follow her on Twitter @jenniferdaniel

John Powell

Dr John Powell is a physicist and a classically trained musician, with naturally curly hair. He has given lectures at international laser conferences and played guitar in pubs in return for free beer. He prefers the latter activity. He holds a master's degree in music composition and a PhD in physics, and has taught physics at the universities of Nottingham and Lulea (Sweden) and musical acoustics at Sheffield University. He lives in Nottingham.

Jon Butterworth

Jon Butterworth is a leading physicist on the Large Hadron Collider, and Head of Physics and Astronomy at UCL. He writes the popular Life & Physics blog for the Guardian and has written articles for a range of publications including the Guardian and New Scientist. Jon often discusses physics in public, including talks at the Royal Institution and the Wellcome Trust and appearances on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, The Infinite Money Cage, BBC Newsnight, Horizon, Channel 4 News and Al Jazeera. He was awarded the Chadwick Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2013 for his pioneering work in high energy particle physics, especially in the understanding of hadronic jets. His book Smashing Physics was shortlisted for the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize.

Joshua Wolf Shenk

Joshua Wolf Shenk is an essayist, author, and curator based in Los Angeles. He is a contributor to Atlantic, Slate, Harper's and other magazines. His first book, Lincoln's Melancholy, was a New York Times notable book and won prizes from the Lincoln Institute and Mental Health America. Shenk directs the Arts in Mind series on creativity and serves on the general council of The Moth.

Mary Aiken

Dr. Mary Aiken is the world's foremost forensic cyberpsychologist. She is the director of the Cyberpsychology Research Network, an advisor to Europol, and has conducted research and training workshops with multiple global agencies from INTERPOL to the F.B.I. and White House. She is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Cyber Analytics at the Asia-Pacific Institute for Resilience and Sustainability (AIRS) anchored at Hawaii Pacific University. Her research interests include cyber security, organized cybercrime, cyberstalking, human trafficking and the rights of the child online. She is a member of the advisory board of the Hague Justice Portal, a foundation for International peace, justice and security. Her groundbreaking work inspired the CBS television series CSI: Cyber. She is based in Ireland.www.maryaiken.com

Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.

Rolf Dobelli

Rolf Dobelli (born 1966) is a Swiss writer, novelist and entrepreneur. He has an MBA and a PhD in economic philosophy from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Dobelli is co-founder of getAbstract, the world's leading provider of book summaries. Dobelli has written six works of fiction. Most famously, he is author of THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY, which became an instant success and landed on the number 1 spot on Germany's official Bestseller list and has been translated in many languages. Dobelli is also founder and curator of ZURICH.MINDS, an invitation-only community of the most distinguished thinkers, scientists and artists.www.dobelli.com www.facebook.com/dobelli

Rupert Sheldrake

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than eighty technical papers and ten books, including A New Science of Life. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in cell biology, and was also a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human abilities, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut. He is married, has two sons and lives in London. Follow Rupert on Twitter @RupertSheldrake. His web site is www.sheldrake.org

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time which was an international bestseller. He is now the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge.

Stephen King

Stephen King is the bestselling author of more than fifty books. His novels include Carrie, The Shining and Revival. His novel Under the Dome is now a major TV series. His novel 11.22.63 won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association.Many of his books have been turned into celebrated films including Misery, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Over the years, King has had various cameo roles in film adaptations of his books as well as playing rhythm guitar in the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock and roll band made up of some of America's bestselling and best-loved writersHe was the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives with his wife, novelist Tabitha King, in Maine, USA.

Trevor Silvester

Trevor is the founder of Cognitive Hypnotherapy and the Training Director of The Quest Institute. He is a practising Hypnotherapist with a clinic in Harley Street. He was the editor of the Hypnotherapy Journal of the National Council for Hypnotherapy for nine years, and was their Director of Ethics and Supervision for a further five until he stepped down in 2011.Trevor has gained a reputation as one of the leading experts in the theory and practice of hypnotic language, and his integration of modern scientific discoveries into the practical aspects of therapy has made him one of the key figures in the modern therapy field. His books have gained him a worldwide audience, and students travel from all over the world to train with him.To promote Cognitive Hypnotherapy Trevor contributes to a wide range of national magazines, and has appeared on BBC radio on several occasions, including appearing regularly, with his wife, Rebecca, on the Jeni Barnett show on BBC London as resident Agony Aunt and Uncle.Sport is one of Trevor's principal passions, both as a participant, and as a mind coach.He is a student of both Kickboxing and Wing Chun Kung Fu and has written for UltraFit, Combat and Running Fitness magazines. In 2009 he was invited to join Team Perfect, an elite sports networking group, and has contributed articles on the mind's influence to their website and newsletters.In 2010 he joined Friends Reunited dating and Swoon.co.uk as their relationship expert.In 2011 he was asked by Camilla Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company to begin working with staff and kids as their inhouse Cognitive Hypnotherapist.He is a Fellow of the National Council for Hypnotherapy and in 2003 received their Researcher of the Year Award for his groundbreaking book Wordweaving volume I: The Science of Suggestion. He was a Keynote speaker at their international conference in 2006, and in 2007 received their highest honour, the Hartland Memorial Award, for his outstanding contribution to Hypnotherapy."I don't stand at the front of the room because I've found all the answers. I'm there because I'm passionate about the search for them."