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.

Adam Becker

Adam Becker is a science writer with a PhD in astrophysics and an undergraduate degree in philosophy. His writing has appeared in the BBC and New Scientist. He has recorded a video series with the BBC and several podcasts with the Story Collider. He is also a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley's Office for History of Science and Technology. He lives in Oakland, CA.

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.

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.

Jake Arnott

Jake Arnott was born in 1961, and lives in London. He is the author of THE LONG FIRM, published by Sceptre in 1999 and subsequently made into an acclaimed BBC TV series. His second novel, HE KILLS COPPERS, was also made into a series by Channel 4. He has since published the novels TRUECRIME, JOHNNY COME HOME, THE DEVIL'S PAINTBRUSH and THE HOUSE OF RUMOUR.

Jaroslav Kalfar

Jaroslav Kalfar was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen, speaking little to no English at that time but learning it by watching Cartoon Network. He graduated from University of Central Florida, where he received Frances R. Lefkowitz Scholarship, the Outstanding Fiction Writer award, and the Founder's Scholar Award for being the top graduate in the College of Arts and Humanities. He earned his M.F.A. at NYU, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and was one of the three nominees for the new NYU E.L. Doctorow Fellowship Award upon graduating. He is twenty-seven years old.

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

Joanne Lipman

Joanne Lipman was founding Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast Portfolio magazine, and is a former deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, where she supervised coverage that earned three Pulitzer prizes and earned the epithet 'Innovator in Chief' from the late David Carr. She is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on CNN, NBC, CNBC, and CBS, among others. She also co-authored the critically acclaimed Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations.

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.

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.

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

Noël Janis-Norton

Noël Janis-Norton graduated from teacher-training college at New York University. Her career as a learning and behaviour specialist spans more than forty years. She has been a classroom teacher, a special needs teacher and advisor, a tutor specialising in learning strategies, a head teacher and a parenting educator. Noël is the founder and director of the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting Centre in London, which provides courses and consultations for parents of toddlers through teens. A regular speaker at professional conferences, Noël has also been featured on numerous television and radio programmes. In addition to lecturing widely in the UK and the US, she also trains teachers and parenting practitioners in her unique and highly effective methods. She is the spokesperson for National Family Week and the parenting expert for Macaroni Kid (a popular website for parents in the US). Through her seminars, courses and talks for parents, and through her books, CDs and DVDs, she has helped transform the lives of tens of thousands of families. Noël's most comprehensive book, Calmer, Easier, Happier, Parenting, was published in 2012. Noël has two grown children, a foster daughter and six grandchildren.

Paul Sean Hill

Paul Sean Hill was the Director of Mission Operations at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Johnson Space Center from 2007 through 2014. He was responsible for all of NASA's human spaceflight mission planning, flight controller and astronaut training as well as Mission Control. Before this, he held a number of senior leadership positions, and from 1996 through 2005 Paul served as a Space Shuttle and International Space Station Flight Director. He supported 24 missions, with leadership roles including planning and leading space station construction in orbit, instrumental leadership in the Columbia accident investigation and returning Shuttle to flight two years later.Today Paul runs Atlas Executive Consulting and is speaks frequently, focusing on universal leadership challenges.

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.

Rebecca Holman

Rebecca Holman is currently the editor of TheDebrief.co.uk, the award-winning digital brand for millennial women, sister publication to Grazia. Until recently, Rebecca wrote a weekly column about sex, dating and single life forTelegraph Wonder Women. She has featured as a guest on TV and radio, recently appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire Show and Women's Hour to discuss issues such as female friendships and social media.

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