University astrophysicist Dr Jen Gupta is set to co-host a new BBC Radio 4 series, ‘Stranger Than Sci-Fi’, exploring how the parallel worlds of science and science fiction influence and inspire each other.

Stranger than Sci-Fi is hosted by Jen and comedian Alice Fraser, and the second episode of the six-part series will be broadcast at 9pm on Wed 24 July. It’ll also be available to listen back via the BBC website.

Dr Jen Gupta co-hosts Stranger than Sci-Fi with comedian Alice Fraser

The first episode ‘Babies in Bags’ explored recent scientific developments in artificial wombs, and featured the author of the award-winning novel Dreams Before the Start of Time, Anne Charnock. Future episodes will explore topics like black holes and inter-species communication.

Jen says: “Science has always inspired books, TV shows and films – but sci-fi can also influence researchers too. Whether it’s travelling through a black hole, or talking with aliens, we’ll be finding out how close we are to the scientific futures we see in popular culture.”

Jen’s work at the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation centres around championing greater understanding of astronomy, and inspiring a new generation of scientists. She co-hosted the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World Live series, and has been recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society as a leading female astronomer.