Alice Roberts is an anatomist and biological anthropologist, author and broadcaster, and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. In the last decade of the twentieth century, she studied medicine and anatomy at Cardiff University, and worked as a junior doctor in South Wales.
She went on to become a lecturer at Bristol University, where she taught anatomy – of humans and other animals – for eleven years. While at Bristol, she became interested in biological anthropology: studying ancient bones and looking for clues about evolution, life, death, and disease in past populations.
Her PhD focused on comparing patterns of arthritis in the shoulders of humans and other apes. She also developed a strong interest in public engagement, becoming a television presenter, writing popular science books, and giving public talks.
In 2012, Alice became the University of Birmingham’s first Professor of Public Engagement with Science. She has received five honorary doctorates from British universities.
Alice has presented a wide range of science and archaeology shows on television. Her television debut came in 2001, as a human bone specialist on Channel 4’s Time Team. She went on to become one of the team of presenters for Channel 4’s Extreme Archaeology, where climbing and caving skills were needed to access archaeological sites.
In 2005, Alice was part of the original team of presenters on the first series of Coast on BBC Two, and she went on to cover many science and archaeology stories in subsequent series of Coast. She also started to write and present her own series on BBC Two, including two series of Don’t Die Young on BBC Two, looking at the structure and function of the human body, organ by organ. She wrote her first book to accompany this series: Don’t Die Young: An anatomist’s guide to your organs and your health.
Since 2009, Alice Roberts has been an occasional presenter of Radio 4’s environment programme, Costing the Earth. She has written seven popular science and archaeology books: Don’t Die Young, The Incredible Human Journey, The Complete Human Body, Evolution: The Human Story, Human Anatomy, The Incredible unlikeliness of Being (shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize in 2015) and The Celts.