At school my favourite subject was human biology. When I became anxious about what I should do with my life my parent’s gave me some very sage advice – which I often pass on to others when I do gigs as a motivational speaker:
“Study what you love. That way you will stick at it for long enough to become an expert and the world will always need experts!”
So that’s exactly what I did:
- I received a First Class B.Sc. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Nottingham in (2001)
- I got my Neurobiology Ph.D. after 3 years of using fMRI brain scanning to study sensory integration (2005)
- My Post-Doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute was published in the Journal of Neuroscience (2010)
Along the way I developed a powerful urge to share my love of science and particularly the human brain with others. And because I’ve never lost the knack of explaining complicated science concepts in plain English my career as a science communicator has slowly but surely gone from strength-to-strength.
In addition to the monthly blogs I’ve been posting here for the past 5 years, I’ve been the presenter or science consultant for TV series on every terrestrial channel in the UK. I have a weekly science slot on XFM 104.9FM called Geek Chic. I have developed my global profile via several satellite and cable television series that have aired all over the world on Sky, Discovery and even MTV.
Through my new book Sort Your Brain Out I’ve managed to increase my visibility even further and am becoming extremely busy on the European speaking circuit, having given talks in schools all over southern England for many years. I really enjoy speaking face-to-face with live audiences because people are extremely motivated to better understand their brains and how to get them working better. I never get bored of answering these questions (in fact when I spoke at the 2013 Cheltenham Science Festival it took me more than an hour in the bar afterwards to answer everybodies’ questions!)
- “Pheromone Parties” This Morning ITV (2014, ITV productions) with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
- “Spinal Chip Enables Paralysed People To Move Again” Newsround: Children’s BBC (2014, BBC)
- “Officeland” Canadian Broadcast Corporation (2014, CBC)
- “Sex Hospital” 5 x 60 mins by TLC (2013, Betty)
- “The Tech Show” 26 x 30min showcasing latest sci, tech & engineering Discovery Science Channel (2012, Reef)
- “Plain Jane” MTV International‘s Jack appeared several times on ITV‘s “This Morning” over the summer of 2011 with his Don’t be a Slave to your Brain strand. 2011 also saw Jack contribute to two separate Channel 4 series: Tom Dyckhoff’s “The Secret Life of Buildings” and Tony Robinson’s “Gods and Monsters.”
Prior to that Jack co-presented Sky One‘s primetime 8x1hr series “Body Language Secrets“ a.k.a. “How to Get What you Want” made by Carbon, which first aired in early 2010 and has since been repeated morning, noon and night on Sky Two and Sky Three throughout 2010/2011.
Just prior to this Dr Jack solo-presented Sky One’s 3-part series “Naked Britain”, taking a light-hearted look into British attitudes to nudity. This first aired in late 2009 and was repeated several times in early 2010.
When not filming Jack has provided neuroscience consultancy services, helping to design the games for Tiger Aspect’s “Britain’s Best Brain”, which aired on Five in Nov/Dec 2009, and by developing a science-based 3D feature film for Blink Films; doing for the brain what “The Great Sperm Race” did for the story of conception.
Jack’s first presenting job was a 20-part social psychology series for BBC2 called “The People Watchers”, where he performed a wide variety of social psychology experiments on unsuspecting members of the public. Previously, he was the science consultant (and featured actor) for a feature-length, Emmy Award winning documentary for Channel 4 and National Geographic, which described the biological processes that take place “Inside the Living Body” from birth until death.
Other television credits include Jack’s contribution to the 5-part strand ‘Teen Club’ for This Morning and a 3-part prime-time ITV series called “How to Get More Sex”.
In the past Dr Jack has designed a Brain Gym in central London, where he tested the brain power of the public, offering advice on how to improve memory and decision making strategies. Most recently he has launched a series of live presentations “Brain Coach Live!” aimed at either: 1) school kids about to sit exams, 2) university students, 3) corporate business people or 4) elderly audiences. This covers various ways in which a person can optimise the functionality of their brain using memory tricks , techniques for minimising and harnessing stress, a brain-focused explanation of why practice makes perfect and a range of practical tips on how to boost general brain health.
During his undergraduate days in Nottingham, Dr Jack co-founded an extremely successful club night featuring every DJ from the “drum and bass” hall of fame over three years of monthly events, yet still managed to achieve a First Class degree in neuroscience.
Daredevil Jack loves to travel: having surfed, climbed, dived, skated and white water rafted in various countries across the globe.
Dr Jack tweets several brain-related breakthroughs on a daily basis and a monthly blog on this website. He has also appeared on various regional and national radio stations discussing subjects such as the effects of partying hard on the human brain, the brain benefits of volunteering, effective decision making strategies, behavioural change and the brain’s responses to beauty, flirting and sexual attraction. He has also contributed to the health/science pages of the Mail on Sunday and London Lite.