Thomas Fink

Dr Thomas Fink is the director of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences, an independent centre for curiosity-driven research.

What Prince William gets wrong about space travel

Time was when ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’ was not just a line from Star Trek. It was a national dream. Space exploration transcended political divisions. When Nasa pulled off the first moon landing, the world watched in awe. Last week, the Star Trek actor William Shatner was blasted into space

How Boris’s research agency can thrive

What is the recipe for outstanding innovation? According to Kwasi Kwarteng, the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, we should learn it from America. When he announced last week the launch of Britain’s new Advanced Research and Inventions Agency (ARIA), he reiterated that the £800m organisation would be based upon DARPA,

A singular mind: Roger Penrose on his Nobel Prize

Sir Roger Penrose was at school when he realised that his mind worked in an unusual way. ‘I thought, maybe when I go to university, I’ll find people who think like me,’ he tells me, at the beginning of what was to be a fascinating conversation, stretching long into the afternoon. ‘But it wasn’t like

How British science can flourish after Brexit

I’m a Texan as well as a physicist so I hope it doesn’t sound boosterish if I say that no nation has contributed more to basic science than Britain. No other country has such an uncanny aptitude for it. I’m not sure what combination of poetry and pragmatism makes this possible, but I don’t need

Oil wars: is this the real threat to the world economy?

36 min listen

This week kicked off with an incredible fall in oil prices globally, so what on earth happened (00:50)? We also talk about the Budget, where Rishi Sunak set out in more detail how the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda will look (10:20). Finally, should we be doing more science research for curiosity’s sake (23:05)?