Skip to content

State of the Art 2020


I make programmes and write books about human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology and history. I passionately believe that universities are about generating and spreading knowledge to the widest possible audience.

I’m a medical doctor, and went on to become a university lecturer. I taught human anatomy to students and doctors, and did research into human origins and disease in ancient skeletons – which formed the basis for my PhD. But all the time, I felt that it was important to engage with people outside universities, of all ages and backgrounds. I’ve been Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham since 2012.

I made my television debut back in 2001, as a human bone specialist on Channel 4’s Time Team. I went on to present Coast on BBC2, and then to write and present a range of television series for BBC2, including The Incredible Human JourneyOrigins of Us and Ice Age Giants, as well as several Horizon programmes. I’ve presented five series of the popular Digging for Britain serieslooking at the freshest, most exciting archaeology in the UK. We’ll be returning with Series 6 later this year.

I’ve written seven popular science books. My book The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being, was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2015.