Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien is a Professor of Astrophysics and an Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester.

At bluedot, Tim has co-curated the science elements of the programme and will be contributing in various ways with talks from the Lovell Stage, in the bluedot Lecture Series and in multimedia presentations of sounds from space working alongside other artists.

He has published around 150 research papers, mainly on the study of thermonuclear explosions on white dwarf stars in binary systems. He has used a wide range of telescopes around the world and in space, including the e-MERLIN radio telescopes operated from Jodrell Bank, X-ray satellites, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Most recently, he has begun some work on the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence using radio telescopes (he hasn’t found any yet).

Tim will be on hand throughout the festival introducing acts, chairing panels and debating with other scientific luminaries. Tim will also host two extraordinary live links on the main stage on Saturday and Sunday. One will be to a LIGO Observatory site in the USA where one of the most radical steps forward in studying the universe for many decades was made earlier this year: the detection of gravitational waves.

The second will be to eminent scientist Christine Corbett Moran – currently working in the extremes of the Antarctic darkness using the South Pole Telescope – giving a real insight into the amazing and often harsh locations scientists sometimes have to inhabit in order to achieve the best results.


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