What’s the biggest cause of unhappiness in
Living for the future instead of in the present;
having false expectations, rather than accepting things as they are
and getting on with life. As a society we have too many choices,
which leads to too many fears and too many hopes.
What’s the one thing you would do if you
were Prime Minister?
Legalise all drugs. Cannabis, heroin,
ecstasy and cocaine are all potentially extremely dangerous if wrongly
used and can be wonderful if correctly used. At the moment they
are in the hands of the nastiest criminals on the planet. They
have all the control and profits. Prohibition means we can’t
even educate our children on proper use. We have only drug
What’s your most annoying habit?
I talk too much and too loudly. That’s
why I spend most of my time at home by myself.
Who would most like to play Twister with?
Richard Dawkins. I’d like to loosen him
Should private schools be abolished?
The process would be painful. But I’d
love to live in a country where they weren’t allowed, where
education was fair and everyone went to their local school. Then
pupils and parents would have to make the most of it.
Was Diana murdered?
On balance I would say no.
What keeps you awake at night?
My partner, Adam Hart-Davis, snoring. If
it’s really bad I go to the spare room. Thank goodness he
doesn’t do it all the time.
What’s the most important thing you’ve
learnt in life?
That in the end nothing matters and everything is
impermanent. It’s a hard lesson I learnt partly through
practising Zen meditation for 20 years as a method of letting go, and
partly through science. If you really think about evolution and
why we human beings are here, you have to come to the conclusion that
we are here for absolutely no reason at all. That can be
very scary, but it can also be comforting.