Lewis Ryan Dartnell (born 21 November 1980) is an author, presenter and Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster. He is best known to the public as a popular science writer, especially for The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch.
Early life and education
Dartnell was born in the UK, but spent much of his childhood years abroad, as his father was posted overseas while working as an engineer for British Airways. He was educated at Charterhouse, in Surrey, and as awarded a first class Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Oxford. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Astrobiology at University College London. His thesis, Computer modeling and experimental work on the astrobiological implications of the Martian subsurface ionising radiation environment, was subsequently reprinted under the title of Martian Death Rays.
Dartnell was a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, where his research focused on the study of extremophile microbes and their signs of past or present life, including the use of Raman spectroscopy to detect micro-organisms even after they have been damaged by exposure to very high levels of radiation. Dartnell is currently a Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster.
Dartnell has written science articles for popular magazines including New Scientist, and was runner up for The Daily Telegraph Science Writer’s Award in 2004. Dartnell has also written several books, including Life in the Universe, an introductory book to the new scientific field of astrobiology, and The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch also known as The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm. 2019 saw the publication of Origins, which is a comprehensive account of how the Earth has affected human evolution and civilizations.
Dartnell has appeared in several science programmes for BBC radio and television, including guest appearances on The Sky at Night and StarGazing Live. Dartnell also presented at TED in March 2015 during Session 10: Building from Scratch.
Dartnell lives in the Stoke Newington area of London.
- Companies House, retrieved 5 July 2015
- Times Educational Supplement, retrieved 5 July 2015
- Curriculum Vitae (PDF), retrieved 5 July 2015
- Computer modeling and experimental work on the astrobiological implications of the Martian subsurface ionising radiation environment (UCL), retrieved 5 July 2015
- Martian Death Rays (Amazon), retrieved 5 July 2015
- UKSA research fellow job profile (SGM), retrieved 5 July 2015
- Program Speakers 2015, retrieved 5 July 2015
- Dartnell, Lewis - About Us - University of Westminster, retrieved 13 April 2017
- News Scientist articles written by Lewis Dartnell, retrieved 5 July 2015
- New £1000 Science Writing Award (ABSW), archived from the original on 6 July 2015, retrieved 5 July 2015
- Life in the Universe (Amazon), retrieved 5 July 2015
- The Knowledge: How to Rebuild the World from Scratch (Amazon), retrieved 5 July 2015
- Origins (Amazon), retrieved 15 February 2019
- ‘Aliens’ Asks: If the Universe Is So Vast, Where Is Everybody? (New York Times), retrieved 30 May 2017
- The Sky at Night (BBC), retrieved 5 July 2015
- Star Gazing Live (BBC), retrieved 5 July 2015
- Personal website
- The Knowledge (book)
- Research Council UK Profile
- University of Leicester profile
- University of Westminster profile