Timandra Harkness is a science writer, broadcaster and comedian. She has performed maths
standup, presented on Radio 4, and written a book; Big Data: does size matter?
After performing improvised and standup comedy, hosting cabaret, and touring with a tented
circus, Timandra formed the first comedy science double-act in the UK with neuroscientist Dr
Now a regular writing and presenting on Radio 4, Timandra has fronted documentaries such as
Data, Data Everywhere, and Personality Politics. She co-hosts FutureProofing, with Leo
Johnson, which sees her looking at the future of everything from language to war, ageing to
food. She’s also the resident reporter on social psychology series The Human Zoo.
Away from the microphone and since winning a competition in the Independent with a piece
on goat-borrowing, she has written for publications including the Telegraph, Guardian, Sunday
Times, Evening Standard, WIRED, Men’s Health and Significance (the journal of the Royal
Statistical Society). Her book Big Data: does size matter? gives a history of data collection and
collation, how it’s changing the world, and its shortcomings from politics to health to smart
Combining unusual facts with insight and humour, Timandra looks at how the future will
affect business and society. As well as looking at big data, she tackles AI and robotics, and
considers topics around our relationship with science and technology.
On stage, Timandra has appeared in and co-written Your Days Are Numbered: the maths of
death and Science Burlesque, which brought the Cheltenham Science Festival its first audience