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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > Issue 274 > Big Gay Following

Big Gay Following

THE STARS, THE UNIVERSE AND INTERGALACTIC TRAVEL. THE LIFE OF THIS BRIAN IS DIFFERENT TO OURS BUT WE STILL FEEL A STRONG BOND TO THE WORLD’S HOTTEST SCIENTIST

Brian Cox

BIG GAY FOLLOWING

PHOTOGRAPHY: LUXXXER, AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM

HE’S THE MAN who’s made modern science go mainstream by breaking down the mind-boggling madness of the universe and distilling its essence into relatable, everyday language. He is perhaps the least obvious candidate for Attitude’s Big Gay Following pages, but gay geeks the world over hang off his every word. From the awesome Wonders of the Solar System, to his most recent series, Forces of Nature, for the BBC, his delivery is enthralling, almost poetic: “You are chemistry. But what chemistry! The Earth is your ancestor and a restless planet is your creator.”

You have a new book out and tour coming, don’t you?

The book is called Universal, on which most of the tour will be based. It ends by looking at the origin of the universe and why there is such a thing — if we can even ask such a question. It’s one of the questions I’m asked most often: what happened before the Big Bang? This thing that happened 13.8 billion years ago and now we have a strong theory so that we have a reasonable understanding of what might have happened. It’s not just speculation anymore. And it comes from measurements; trying to understand the structures that we see, the distribution of galaxies in the sky, all those things. So, we start with very simple questions. How do we measure the radius of the Earth, how do we know the size of the Earth?

You can do that from anywhere. You can make that measurement yourself. Then there’s: what’s the distance between the planets in the sky? You can make a lot of progress in working that out yourself, too. It ends up with this unbelievable picture that may not be on as sound a footing as some other theories but it’s pretty clear that there might be an infinite number of universes akin to ours — with every possible combination of the laws of physics, strength of gravity, the masses of other particles — in this vast thing called the multiverse. That means we’re not even lucky to exist, it’s inevitable. Not only are we only a tiny speck in an infinite universe but we’re inevitable as well. And what does that make you feel? It’s kind of up to you. But the idea that we’ve managed to make those measurements and that we show how to do that is the key point.

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About Attitude

EXCLUSIVE: The world’s greatest supermodel Naomi Campbell tells Attitude why gay Empire actor Jussie Smollett is the hottest thing in Hollywood. Also in this issue, legendary director Pedro Almodovar, comedian Zoe Lyons, hot new thriller author Martin Holmen, awesome new music act Nimmo, artist Lindsay Kemp, and drag star Violet Chachki. Plus, professor Brian Cox explains everything you ever needed to know about the universe.
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