Marcus Chown

Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brunel University.

His books include The Ascent of Gravity (W&N, 2017), which was The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year; The Magicians (Faber & Faber, 2020); Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand (Michael O’Mara, 2018); What A Wonderful World (Faber & Faber, 2013); Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You (Faber & Faber, 2007); Felicity Frobisher and the Three-Headed Aldebaran Dust Devil (Faber & Faber, 2008); We Need to Talk about Kelvin (Faber & Faber, 2009) and Afterglow of Creation (Faber & Faber, 2010). The latter two were both runners-up for the Royal Society Book Prize. Marcus has also tried his hand at apps and won The Bookseller Digital Innovation of the Year for Solar System for iPad.

Marcus was a regular guest on the BBC4 comedy-science show, It’s Only A Theory, with Andy Hamilton and Reginald D. Hunter, and often appears on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. He has appeared at a variety of events from the Cheltenham Literary Festival to the Sydney Writers Festival, from the National Theatre to the Wilderness Festival. And he has done stand-up comedy at a variety of venues from an upturned inflatable cow on London’s South Bank to a glass-bottomed boat in a shark tank at the Brighton Sealife Centre.

Marcus’s latest book, The One Thing You Need To Know (2023), is published by Michael O’Mara Books. From gravity to black holes, special relativity to global warming, this authoritative and entertaining book breaks down complex science into manageable chunks, explaining the one thing you really need to know to get to grips with the subject.

Books by Marcus Chown