Professor Lewis Dartnell

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Lewis is an astrobiology researcher and professor at the University of Westminster. The author of The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch, Lewis also writes for The Guardian, The Times, and New Scientist. On TV he has appeared on The Sky at Night and Stargazing Live.


Lewis Dartnell is a science researcher, and writer and holds a Professorship at the University of Westminster. His research is in the field of astrobiology and the search for bacterial life beyond the Earth. Lewis explores how microbial life, and signs of its past existence, might survive the bombardment of cosmic radiation on the surface of Mars, and what are the best ways to try and detect it.

Alongside his academic research Lewis is a science writer. He has won prizes from the The Daily Telegraph, Oxford University Press, New Scientist and The Times Higher Education.

Lewis’ books include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch, which discusses how to reboot civilisation after an apocalypse to see how science and technology supports our modern world. Origins: How The Earth Shaped Human History is a deep dive into how features of the planet we live on have influenced the course of history. Origins has been translated into twenty-six languages, and a copy of The Knowledge exists on the surface of the moon.

In his book Being Human: How Our Biology Shaped World History Lewis explores fundamental aspects of us as a species, from our genetics to our anatomy and psychology, and how these intrinsic features of our humanness have had a profound influence in shaping the world today.

Lewis has appeared on BBC Horizon, Wonders of the Universe, Stargazing Live, and Sky at Night, as well as on the DVD extras for the sci-fi film Monsters. He acted as scientific consultant and scriptwriter for films including a full-dome planetarium show We Are Aliens, and documentaries with Brian Cox. Lewis has been interviewed on the BBC World Service the Guardian Science Weekly Podcast, talkSPORT and on Lauren Laverne’s show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

His talks include The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch, Astrobiology: The Hunt for Alien Life, Hacking the Brain: What optical and auditory illusions can tell us about how the mind works, and Sounds of the Cosmos. Lewis has delivered lectures at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Institution, and the Natural History Museum.

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Book written by Professor Lewis Dartnell
Book written by Professor Lewis Dartnell
Book written by Professor Lewis Dartnell
Book written by Professor Lewis Dartnell


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