THALES + FRIENDS is a not-for-profit organization based in Greece that works to bridge the chasm between mathematics and other forms of cultural activity.
To achieve its aims, THALES + FRIENDS works to create opportunities for interdisciplinary research and communication through lectures, discussions, publications, and reading groups.
THALES + FRIENDS continues its activity with a series of interviews with leading personalities from different fields. Through its initiative called “Meetings on the Bridge” – a reference to bridging the gap between mathematics and various forms of cultural activity – the organization presents an interview given by British author and mathematician Mr Ian Stewart to author and mathematician Mr Tefcros Michaelides.
Ian Stewart was born in 1945 and educated at Cambridge (MA) and Warwick (PhD). He is an Emeritus Professor in the Mathematics Department at Warwick University, where he divides his time equally between research into nonlinear dynamics and furthering public awareness of mathematics. He is also an Emeritus Professor of Gresham College, London. He has held visiting positions in Germany, New Zealand, and the USA. He has five honorary doctorates (Open University, Westminster, Louvain, Kingston, and Brighton) and is an honorary wizard of Unseen University on Discworld.
He is best known for his popular science writing—mainly on mathematical themes. His awards include the Royal Society’s Faraday Medal (1995), the IMA Gold Medal (2000), the AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award (2001), the LMS/IMA Zeeman Medal (2008), and the Lewis Thomas Prize (2015, joint with Steven Strogatz). Jointly with Martin Golubitsky he won the 2001 Balaguer Prize.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. His book Nature’s Numbers was shortlisted for the 1996 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books, and Why Beauty is Truth was shortlisted for the 2008 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. His iPad app Incredible Numbers, a collaboration with TouchPress and Profile Books, won the Digital Book World Award for adult non-fiction in 2015 and was selected as one of the 24 ‘Best Apps of 2014’ in the US and Canadian App Stores. In 2018, he received the Pythagorean Universe Award, Centre for Advanced Studies, Warsaw University of Technology, and became a Master of the Centre for Advanced Studies, Warsaw University of Technology.
He delivered the 1997 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on BBC television and repeated them in Japan in 1998. The final lecture began by bringing a live tiger into the lecture room. He has made nearly 450 radio broadcasts and 80 television appearances. He has published more than 120 books.
Scientific supervision: Tefkros Michaelides
Journalistic supervision: George Karouzakis