Ian Morison began his love of astronomy when, at the age of 12, he made a telescope out of lenses given to him by his optician. He attended Chichester High School and then went on to study Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy at Hertford College, Oxford. In September 1965, he became a research student at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory. In 1970 he was appointed to the staff of the Observatory and teaches astronomy at the University of Manchester.
In 1990 he helped found the Macclesfield Astronomy Society which meets at the Observatory and later became president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, the UK's largest astronomical society. He remains on the Society's Council and holds the post of instrument advisor helping members with their choice and use of Telescopes.
He lectures widely on astronomy, has co-authored books for amateur astronomers and writes regularly for the UK astronomy magazines Astronomy Now and Sky at Night. He also writes a monthly sky guide for the Observatory's web site and produces an audio version as part of the Jodrell Bank Podcast. He has contributed to many television programmes and is a regular astronomy commentator on local and national radio. Another activity he greatly enjoys is to take amateur astronomers on observing trips such as those to Lapland to see the Aurora Borealis and, last year, to Turkey to observe a total eclipse of the Sun.
In 2003 the Minor Planets Committee of the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 15,727 in his honour citing his work with MERLIN, the world's largest linked array of radio telescopes, and that in searching for intelligent life beyond our Solar System in Project Phoenix.
Ian is excited about the prospect of his time as Gresham Professor of Astronomy. He regards it as real challenge and expects it to play a major role in his life for the next three years. He will to give a wide variety of illustrated lectures ranging from how our understanding of the Universe has grown over the centuries to a gentle introduction to Einstein's theory of Gravity - now being tested to extreme accuracy by astronomers at Jodrell Bank.
He realised that his love of observational astronomy could not easily be covered in the City of London, so has instituted a Gresham Astronomy Weekend at a 'dark sky' location in the Cotswolds which will take place in March each year.
Neal Stephenson is the best-selling author of such novels as Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, and The Baroque Cycle. He is best know for writing science fiction (in the postcyberpunk genre) and his interests often lead him into investigations of society, mathematics, cryptology, currency and the history of science.
Bob has spoken at numerous industry events and conferences, including Worldwide Exchanges Conference, Sibos and GARP. He has frequently appeared in the press, including the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC and CNN, and pens a regular column for The Economic Times of India.
Bob’s previous experience includes a Senior Consulting analyst role at Aite Group, where he focused broadly on trading issues in the European marketplace, as they apply not only to those within the capital markets sector, but also within wholesale banking. He covered all asset classes, risk issues and compliance with European regulation, most significantly Basel II, Basel III and MiFID. Before this Bob was a research director at TowerGroup, focusing on the European financial services industry. He is a director and shareholder in Ubicap Group Ltd, a private equity broking and investment company based in Guernsey; and, through UbiCap, an advisor to Alderney Renewable Energy.
Based in the UK’s Channel Islands, Bob holds a law degree (LLB Hons) from University College London, University of London. He is fluent in French and he speaks Russian and Spanish.
Faisal Islam is economics correspondent for Channel 4 News, after being business correspondent since May 2004. Prior to this he was economics correspondent at The Observer newspaper.
In 2009 he was named Business Journalist of the Year, and in February 2006 Faisal was named Young Journalist of the Year at the Royal Society of Television awards. He was awarded the Wincott Award for Young Financial Journalist of the Year in 2000, and shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards for 2001.