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Writer, broadcaster and film maker Dr Christopher Riley has worked in the field of public engagement in science for over fifteen years.
He gained his doctorate from Imperial College, University of London in 1995 and began reporting for the BBC Radio Science unit the same year.
He moved to BBC television in 1997 to work as series researcher for their landmark series The Planets. He co-presented the BBC's 1999 total eclipse coverage and their 30th anniversary celebrations of Apollo 11 - Moon Landings Live the same year.
In 2000 he fronted the BBC Knowledge six part cosmology series Journeys In Time and Space. The following year he worked briefly on the Sky at Night, co-presented BBC2's monthly astronomy magazine show Final Frontier, and produced and presented the corporation's coverage of the 2001 African Eclipse, the BBC's first live web cast.
In 2003 he co-presented the BBC / Open University's All Night Star Party live from the Isaac Newton Telescopes on La Palma for BBC2. He is the author of more than thirty articles and books on astronomy and planetary science and is a regular expert contributor to UK News broadcasts, (from the Guardian Podcasts, to the Today Programme, the BBC's Breakfast News and GMTV), and across the BBC's factual output; from the popular children's strands Blue Peter and Newsround to the iconic astronomy magazine show The Sky at Night.
Chris was a founding scientist of the UK's National Science Line and has consultanted to Britain's Centre for Science Education, the British Council's Science Communication outreach program, the Ideas Foundation, The Institute of Ideas, The Thomson Foundation and twofour54. He serves as head of media projects for the innovative education communications company GovEd and directs business TV content for the creative UK agency The Rocket Science Group. He is a consultant on social media to London based creative agency Sister.
He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln's School of Media and an external examiner on the Science Communication M.Sc. in Science Media Production at Imperial College, University of London. He lectured at the The University of Leicester's bi-annual UK Space School between 2000 and 2005 when he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in recognition of his endeavours in public engagement in astronomy.
Chris was a pioneer of web journalism, reporting for the BBC's first online news service, covering the British Association Science conference in 1996 - TW@BA. He continues to work at the forefront of the communications revolution as the founder and managing director of the media company theatticroom and the archive film distribution project footagevault.
Behind the camera Chris has produced and directed on over one hundred programmes for the BBC. He made more than fifty films for the corporation's flagship science and technology show Tomorrow's World and went on to direct on their long running 'Secret Lives' strand and the first series of the BBC1 prime time show Best Inventions. In 2002 he produced and directed on BBC2's Science at Christmas mini-series Can't Get Enough before joining Impossible Pictures during 2003-2004, where he produced the BBC's blockbuster space drama-documentary series Space Odyssey, winner of the UKs prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke Award.
The following year Chris returned to the BBC to produce and direct on the sixth series of Rough Science for BBC2, set in the Colorado Rockies.
He acted as the science advisor for the BBCs remakes of the science fiction classics Quatermass in 2005 and A for Andromeda in 2006. That summer he wrote and presented the BBC Radio 4 astronomy series The Cosmic Hunters broadcast in September.
He collaborated with DOX Productions at the end of 2005 to produce and direct on his feature documentary film In the Shadow of the Moon, winner of the 2007 Sundance World Cinema Audience award. The film opened in cinemas across the US and Europe during the autumn of that year and received it's TV network premier the following year, when it was nominated for two Grierson awards.
During 2008 his TV work included acting as an executive producer and director of the REMI award winning six part series 'Moon Machines' for Discovery Science Channel, and as a consultant on the major Discovery Channel series, 'When we Left Earth'. On the web he produced and directed the innovative Bebo hosted teen-drama series Jeffery's Story and in August he participated in the third Science Foo Camp at the Googleplex, outside San Francisco.
Through his studio the attic room Chris produced the remastered and restored director's cut of NASA's Apollo 11 documentary Moonwalk One. The film was acquried by the Discovery Channel Europe and had a limited theatrical release in the UK - premiering at the BFI in London and playing the summer festival circuit. Chris introduced the film at the 2009 Glastonbury and Big Chill festivals.
Chris worked as an adjunct curator on the July 2009 British Film Institute programme "One Giant Leap" and his first video installation "Apollo Raw and Uncut" played at the London Science Museum through the anniversary summer. It opened at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Quebec in November 2009 as 'Secrets of Apollo'; part of their exhibition 'Intermission: Films from a Heroic Future', which he also helped to curate. Continuing the presentation of overlooked Apollo film archive in public gallery spaces Chris collaborated with the creative science agency super/collider on his 2011 show Cone Crater - a 40th anniversary celebration of Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell's exploration of the Frau Mauro lunar highlands, which played at The Book Club, London as part of the Apollo's End project.
His latest book published by Haynes: Apollo 11 an owner's workshop manual was released in June of 2009, in time for the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon landing, and made it into Amazon's top ten list of Science & Nature books for the year. As part of the Moon Shot anniversary celebrations Chris also wrote a series of essays about Project Apollo for BBC News online.
Along with Keifer Sutherland he is one of the producers of the innovative 1 second film - a project from the Collaboration Foundation. He was the executive producer of 'Dust', a short film which premiered at the 2010 Edinburgh and London Film Festivals and is to be distrbuted by Shorts International. During that year Chris also worked as a science advisor on the 2011 BBC One drama Outcasts, and the BBC/Discovery Channel James May series - 'Things you need to know about the Universe', which aired in June 2011.
He is the associate producer of BBC FOUR's recent documentary Destination Titan, and the producer and director of the unique Yuri Gagarin 50th Anniversary film project First Orbit. which collaborated with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli to film a new view of what Yuri Gagarin would have seen on his pioneering orbit of the Earth in 1961. The resulting film, recorded on board the International Space Station, premiered globally online to the lagest audience for a long form film in YouTube history on the 12th April 2011, and simultaneously on over 1600 screens in more than 130 countries. The film was released on DVD and BluRay in 30 languages the following year. Chris wrote the chapter on Gagarin's visit to London in the 2011 British Council book 'Gagarin in Britain'.
During the summer of 2011 he produced a film with Kevin Fong for BBC TWO on the final flight of NASA's Space Shuttle.
During his career he has flown at twice the speed of sound on Concorde, floated weightless for 30 minutes on board both Russian and European Space Agency parabolic flights and has ridden on two of NASA's astrobiology missions; chasing the Leonid meteor showers around the world for BBC News.
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