Simon Singh

Simon Singh, MBE is a British author who has specialized in writing about mathematical and scientific topics in an accessible manner.

Simon Singh grew up in Wellington, Somerset, and then went to Imperial College London, where he studied physics, before completing a PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University and at CERN, Geneva.

In 1990 he joined the BBC’s Science Department, where he was a producer and director in programs such as Tomorrow’s World and Horizon. In 1996 he directed “Fermat’s Last Theorem”, a BAFTA award winning documentary about the world’s most notorious mathematical problem. The documentary was also aired in America as part of the PBS series NOVA. “The Proof”, as it was re-titled, was nominated for an Emmy.

In his first book “Fermat’s Last Theorm” Simon tackled the notorious mathematical problem once again. It became the first book on mathematics to become a No. 1 bestseller in the UK. In the US the book was renamed “Fermat’s Enigma” where it received critical success.

In 1997 Simon began working on his second book, “The Code Book“, a history of codes and codebreaking. The book covered the history of encryption, tracing its evolution and revealing the dramatic effects codes have had on wars, nations, and individual lives. It was noted for it’s ease of comprehension despite the difficult and mathematical subjects it covered.

The Code Book” resulted in Mr. Singh returning to television. He presented “The Science of Secrecy”, a 5-part series for BBC Channel 4. The stories in the series range from the cipher that sealed the fate of Mary Queen of Scots to the coded Zimmermann Telegram that changed the course of the First World War. Other programmes discuss how two great nineteenth century geniuses raced to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs and how modern encryption can guarantee privacy on the Internet.

In 2005 Simon released “The Big Bang” in which he uses his ability to make complicated matters easy to comprehend to explain the origin of the Universe. In 2009 he teamed up with Dr. Edzard Ernst to write “Trick Or Treatment” an entertaining and informative critique of the most popular “alternative medical” treatments.

After publishing an article about chiropractic in April 2008, Mr Singh was sued by the British Chiropractic Association in a libel case that lasted two years and brought attention to the English libel laws that The Wall Street Journal Europe said “chills free speech”.

Sense About Science launched a campaign to bring attention to the case. The “Streisand Effect” hit the British Chiropractic Association and in a single 24-hour period 500 chiropractors had complaints of false advertising brought against them with nearly 25% of all British chiropractors eventually joining them. McTimoney Chiropractic Association wrote in a leaked message to its member that they should remove flyers, take down their websites and not take new clients in fear of being investigated.

On April 1, 2010 Simon Singh won his court appeal and on April 15, 2010 the British Chiropractic Association withdrew its lawsuit.

Currently Simon is heavily involved in the skeptic movement and he has talked at various Skeptics in the Pub events, taken part in James Randi’s international TAM events and support efforts such at the 10:23 homeopathic overdose challenge.