Dr Alfredo Carpineti

Scientist, journalist, activist

Science Communication

My work in public engagement began in 2011 during my Ph.D. when I helped run talks aimed at the general public by the Astrophysics group at Imperial College London. Since then, science communication has grown to be more than a side gig. It’s the central part of my career, whether it is written word for my full time job at IFLScience, in a variety of forms for my blog, talks, pop-events in museums, and for event organisation. 

Talks & Festivals

I've given talks at many different types of events and in different styles. I've been invited to speak at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich and the Cheltenham Science Festival. I've given talks at the Science Museum, at the World Sci-Fi convention, in Parliament, at a literary salon in Shoreditch, and with Science Show Off a few times. [Photo credit: Steve Cross]

Pop-Up Activities

I've organised pop-up activities for the Lates at the Royal Institution when I was chair of Science London, and since. I enjoy the design of these transient museum exhibitions as they need to convey and deliver messages in a completely unique way compared to regular talks or for a permanent collection.

Event Organisation

Public engagement is not all about the limelight, and I enjoy the behind the scenes organisation of events just as much as I enjoy talking about science. I organised the IFLScience LIVE event in May 2017 in Bush Hall and I regularly organise Out Thinkers, an event where LGBT scientists and engineers can showcase their work.

Journalism

While the interest for communicating science in the written form has always been with me, it became a profession in 2015 when I started working for IFLScience. In the last two years, I’ve produced more than 1,500 articles mostly on space and physics which are my areas of expertise and also on medicine, archaeology, and social sciences. I’ve also written about astronomy for Italian publications such as the Corriere Della Sera

Below are a couple of pieces from IFLScience that I’m particularly proud of, and a selection of blog posts from The Astroholic. 

From The Astroholic

I recently talked about how time travel to the past is unlikely to be possible. That came with the label that we haven't found a law that tells us that it's impossible just yet. We have hints, but no certainty. So what if time travel was suddenly possible? Who should be using it? For what reason? And with what limits? Let's...
What does it actually look like in the asteroid belt? Is it anything like as dense as is shown in films? Or is it more like you can see one or two rocks in the distance? Matthew, Amsterdam Contrary to popular belief, the asteroid belt is mostly empty and it's not the crammed zone of potato shaped rocks seen in films...
I know why the moon goes red during a total eclipse. But why does it not go red until near totality? Phil, London This is actually a very interesting question, with an (unfortunately) unsatisfying answer. But let’s take a step back and clarify why the Moon goes red during an eclipse, for people who don’t know. The Moon goes red for the...

Stars of the Future

If the universe continues expanding forever, how long until it's too diffused to allow star formation? How many generations of stars will that mean the universe has? How will the elemental make-up of these late stars be different and what effects will that have? I can't give you an exact timescale but it's possibly trillions of years in the future....
In a previous post, I discussed how long the Earth would be able to survive without the Sun. We had to assume that our star would magically disappear into nothingness. My friend Gavin asked online: “Can we have a follow-up on no Sun and the effect on orbits?” Thank you. I am now feeling cold & I feel I need to move...
For all intents and purposes gravity travels at the speed of light but it is very hard to measure, and so far we have no direct model-independent measurement of the speed of gravity. Physics has to main gravitational models: Newtonian dynamics and General Relativity The Newtonian gravitational model assumes that the gravitational interaction is instantaneous, and we know that this is...
Sometimes inspiration strikes in unusual ways at unusual times. I was tagged in a quote tweet where Prof Peter Coles states that as an astrophysicist he must contest Prince Harry's statement that "the stars were aligned when he met Meghan." Now, I'm currently on my honeymoon in New Zealand and we are waiting at the Rotorua airport for a flight...
If by big we mean physical dimension, the largest known galaxy is most likely IC1101. IC1101 is gargantuan even among galaxies; it's a super elliptical galaxy with a diffuse stellar halo that to extends to at least 1.4 million light years. The Milky Way's halo by comparison extends to about 100.000 lights years. In the picture we see an artistic rendition of...
A few years ago I filmed a vlog ranting about Astrology being nonsense and I'm now revisiting the subject, not because something has changed (it's still bullshit), but because I think I understand my anger a bit better. A discussion arose in work concerning the most annoying unfounded beliefs that people have. Antivaxxers are by far the most despised category,...

Colliding stars

I know that likelihood of stars colliding is very low, but have there been papers describing the theoretical process of star collision? James, London I think we can divide star-collision into three classes: Stellar Mergers Binary collisions Stellar Collision Under the stellar merger label we include the theoretical stars which are formed in tightly bound clusters and in their infancy merge to form very massive...