Chris Smith (doctor)

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Chris Smith
Born Christopher Smith
January 1975
Nationality British
Occupation Medical doctor, scientist & broadcaster
Home town Cambridge

Chris Smith - "the Naked Scientist" - is a consultant virologist and a lecturer based at Cambridge University where he is a fellow of Queens' College.[citation needed] He is also a science radio broadcaster and writer, and presents the Naked Scientists, a programme which he founded in 2001, for BBC Radio and other networks internationally, as well as 5 live Science on BBC Radio 5 Live.


In addition to the Naked Scientists, he appears live every Friday morning on Australia's ABC Radio National Breakfast with Fran Kelly, supplying an update of the week's leading science news.[citation needed] He is also a contributor to Robyn Williams' The Science Show on the same station, and also appears on Johannesburg-based South African station TalkRadio 702 for thirty minutes every Friday morning with a half hour science news round up and listener question phone-in.[citation needed] Radio New Zealand National's This Way Up show, hosted by journalist Simon Morton on Saturdays, also includes a Naked Science contribution from Chris, and since 2013 BBC Radio Norfolk have been running a Naked Scientists Wednesday teatime science phone-in as part of their Drive Time offering.[citation needed]

Until May 2014, Smith provided a weekly 25 minute science round up for BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All Night programme every Monday.[citation needed] This was replaced by the new weekly one-hour 5 live Science programme, which is also produced by Smith and his colleagues and airs on Saturday mornings and is repeated on a Sunday evening.[citation needed]

Smith also founded and presented the first 100 episodes of the Nature Podcast for the journal Nature in 2005.[citation needed] This show was the first example of an international science journal producing an audio programme to supplement its printed content.[citation needed] He has also contributed podcast content for the open access publishing group PLoS (Public Library of Science), he launched and hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry's "Chemistry World" Podcast for nearly 10 years and, in 2013, launched the monthly eLife Podcast for the open access online journal eLife.,[1] which he currently presents.

Naked Scientists Podcast[edit]

Launched by Smith in 2005, it was also the first example of a BBC local and regional programme to be published as a podcast;[citation needed] within its first twelve months it received 2 million programme downloads.[citation needed]

In January 2010, Smith's The Naked Scientists group announced on Twitter that, just ahead of the 10th anniversary of the project's launch, the number of downloaded programme episodes had hit 10 million internationally. At a presentation at the 2011 AAAS Meeting in Washington DC, Smith showed that, by February 2011, over 17 million episodes of the Naked Scientists podcast had been downloaded globally. More recently, during a 2014 visit to Perth, Western Australia, where Smith holds a Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Adjunct Professorship at Murdoch University, he announced that the number of downloads exceeds 40 million.


In September 2006 Chris Smith published Naked Science,[2] his first book, which is an anthology of science stories based on the material presented on The Naked Scientists. This was followed, in September 2008, by Crisp Packet Fireworks,[3] a collection of 50 science experiments to try at home using every-day ingredients found in the average kitchen. This title, which was co-authored with Naked Scientist colleague David Ansell and published by New Holland, was initially launched across in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In January 2010 it was also published across South Africa by Struik and Random House under the title Maverick Science, and launched in the US in April 2010 as Spectacular Science.

In December 2008 Chris also published a sequel to Naked Science, The Return of the Naked Scientist, with Random House in Australia and New Zealand. He released a fourth book, Stripping Down Science, also with Random House Australia, in December 2010.

Awards & Honours[edit]

His work on the Naked Scientists also won Chris the Biosciences Federation Prize for Science Communication, 2006,[4] the JOSH Award 2007,[5] the Society for General Microbiology's Peter Wildy Prize 2008, the Royal Society Kohn Award for 2008,[6] the Best Radio Show Award at the Population Institute's 29th Global Media Awards, 2008,[7] the European Podcast Award for UK Non-Profit podcast,[8] the inaugural Royal College of Pathologists Furness Prize for Science Communication, 2010 and the Society of Biology's Science Communication Prize, 2012. In 2016 Smith received and honorary doctorate (DSc) from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in recognition to his contributions to broadcasting and public understanding of science[9][10]


External links[edit]