327: Johnjoe McFadden | Exploring Application And History Of Occam’s Razor In “Life Is Simple”


“Entities should not be multiplied without necessity” is the message behind Occam’s Razor, and seeking the simplest explanation for a conundrum is a strong force in science. On episode 327, Professor Johnjoe McFadden of the University of Surrey takes us through history, science, and philosophy, as connected with Occam’s Razor, in his latest book Life Is Simple: How Occam’s Razor Set Science Free And Shapes The Universe.

Professor McFadden obtained his PhD at Imperial College London and went on to work on human genetic diseases and then infectious diseases, at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. For more than a decade, Professor McFadden has specialized in examining the genetics of microbes such as the agents of tuberculosis and meningitis.

He has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals on subjects as wide-ranging as bacterial genetics, tuberculosis, idiopathic diseases and computer modelling of evolution and has edited a book on the genetics of mycobacteria. He has lectured extensively in the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan and his work has been featured in radio, television and national newspaper articles. His present post is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey.

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