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Dr Yan Wong

Dr Yan Wong is an evolutionary biologist who studies the theoretical underpinnings of life. This gives him a wide-ranging expertise, covering the maths, the chemistry, the genetics, and the ecology of the natural world. Coupled with a strong interest in statistics, this broad background means he can appear (and usually is!) well-informed over a extensive set of scientific disciplines.

His DPhil involved modelling the evolutionary effects of self-recognition systems in plants, which was followed by a number of years at the Oxford Museum of Natural History, where he helped to research and write 'The Ancestor's Tale', an expansive history of life with the renowned biologist, Richard Dawkins.

In 2009, following a lectureship in evolutionary biology and ecology at the University of Leeds, Yan was invited to join the presenting team of BBC1's prime-time series "Bang Goes The Theory", demonstrating a wide and eclectic range of scientific ideas to members of the public. His current research interests include a nationwide experiment into the evolutionary aspects of human dance, statistical analysis of patterns in DNA packing, and the evolutionary biology of self-replicating patterns on computers.

As a television presenter, Yan enthuses about our scientific understanding of the world in diverse ways: ambushing unsuspecting passers-by with ‘street science’, setting brainteasers for viewers, producing video guides to many hands-on science experiments, and answering questions posed by members of the public via his (allegedly) infallible 'Ask Yan' feature. He delights in the challenges of live science demonstrations, having wrestled with live broadcast demonstrations, nationwide stage shows, and the reconstruction of historical science experiments (such as Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light - with a blender). Yan also incorporates live science demonstrations into his talks.


His other television and radio credits include: Christmas University Challenge as an alumnus of the winning team New College, Oxford, Blue Peter, BBC Learning Zone films including Bloodhound supersonic car, BBC Radio 1’s 'Switch' special, The Jeremy Vine Show (BBC Radio 2), Loose Ends, Material World, Today programme (BBC Radio 4), Celebrity Eggheads (BBC2) researching and recording ‘Frontiers’ for BBC Radio 4, and he recently judged BBC Radio 4's 'So You Want To Be A Scientist'. He also has a regular slot answering questions on the popular Radio 4 series 'More Or Less' and is a contributor to Bacon’s Theory on Radio 5 Live.

In 2012, Yan also contributed to Emdash Award-winning artist Cecile B. Evans’ exhibition at the Frieze Art Fair, London, and was selected as a guest judge to select the overall winner of BioMed’s BMC Ecology Image Competition.

As a speaker, Yan has presented and given talks for P&O Cruises (2015), the Oxford, Cambridge & RSA Examinations (2014), Cheltenham Science Festival (2011, 2012), the National Physical Laboratory (2011),The Royal Statistical Society (2011), The Awards for O2 learn science films (2011) and schools and community groups around the country. He has also been an integral part of the Bang Live science roadshows (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).

Video footage of his Bang LIVE stage shows and interactive events can be found at: BBC ONE - BANG GOES THE THEORY

Additional video footage of Hands-on: BBC ONE - HANDS ON

Follow Yan on Twitter @DrYanWong

Yan is represented by Sue Rider Management

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