skip to content

Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information

A new book of interviews with “the ingenious individuals who come into The Life Scientific studio” features Professor Lord Robert Mair, Head of CSIC.


The book, titled ‘The Life Scientific: Inventors’, written by Anna Buckley – the producer of the radio programme – publishes on 14 November and offers engaging and fascinating insight into the scientists and engineers who have featured on the popular BBC Radio 4 programme over the past eight years. Professor Mair was interviewed by presenter Jim Al-Khalili about tunnelling, the compensation grouting which prevented Big Ben from tilting and coming away from the Houses of Parliament during the Jubilee line extension works, and smart infrastructure in 2013.


Based on the radio interviews, the book, which also features Professor Dame Ann Dowling, former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Head of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering 2009-14, charts the life journeys of scientists and engineers working in Britain today from childhood interests to more recent innovation. Explaining what they did when and why, the interviews make science accessible, interesting and exciting, revealing moments of disappointment, creativity, frustration and joy. This publication follows ‘The Life Scientific: Explorers’ which won the Sunday Times Science Book of the Year 2018.