Timandra Harkness
journalist, writer & broadcaster; presenter, Futureproofing and other BBC Radio 4 programmes; author, Big Data: does size matter?

Timandra Harkness is a science writer, broadcaster and comedian. Her book Big Data: does size matter? was published by Bloomsbury Sigma in June 2016.

Timandra is a regular on BBC Radio 4, writing and presenting FutureProofing, a series looking at the social impact of new big ideas, and documentaries such as Data, Data Everywhere and Personality Politics. She’s also resident reporter on social psychology series The Human Zoo.

As well as data, she speaks and writes on AI, robotics and other topics around our relationship with science and technology. Timandra chairs events with a variety of partners, including Cheltenham Science Festival, the British Council, the Royal Geographical Society, the RSA and the Wellcome Collection. as well as a robotics conference in Moscow.

Since winning the Independent newspaper’s column-writing competition with a short piece on goat-borrowing, she’s written for publications including the Telegraph, Guardian, Sunday Times, BBC Focus, WIRED, Men’s Health & Significance (the journal of the Royal Statistical Society).

After years of improvised and stand-up comedy, cabaret, and touring with a tented circus, she formed the first comedy science double-act in the UK with neuroscientist Dr Helen Pilcher. She has since written and performed scientific and mathematical comedy from Adelaide (Australia) to Pittsburgh PA, and on BBC Radio 4.

In 2010, she co-wrote and performed Your Days Are Numbered: The Maths of Death, with stand-up mathematician Matt Parker, to average audiences of 100.3 and four-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, then touring in the UK and Australia. Her science comedy since then includes cabaret, gameshows and a solo live show Brainsex.

Timandra currently has 86% of a BSc in mathematics and statistics with the Open University, so she could calculate the chances that it’ll be 100% by July 2017, if she didn’t have to get on with some proper work.


Saturday 22 October, 10.00 Frobisher Auditorium 1
Big Data: does size matter?

Saturday 22 October, 14.00 Frobisher Auditorium 1
Blockchain: what's all the fuss about?

Sunday 23 October, 10.00 Cinema 2
Comedy and censorship: are you kidding me?

Sunday 23 October, 14.00 Frobisher Auditorium 1
Why, robot? Can we teach AI to be ethical?

Saturday 19 November, 14.30 Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Stockholm
Rise of the Robots: Will machines replace humans?