Dr Arthur Turrell
Researcher in physics and economics

Find Out More

About me

Hi! I am a research economist at the Bank of England, a visiting scientist to the plasma physics group at Imperial College London, and a visitor at the Data Analytics for Finance and Macro Research Centre at King's College London.

I am passionate about making science and economics more accessible and more easily understandable. That passion has led me to write a book about nuclear fusion titled
"How to Build a Star: The Science of Nuclear Fusion and the Quest to Harness Its Power". The book will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the Commonwealth (including the UK), by LEDA in the Czech Republic, and by Scribner in the US and rest of the world.

The book will be filled with the remarkable stories of the scientists who have dedicated their lives to achieving a seemingly impossible dream: to build a machine on Earth that recreates the source of the Sun's energy here on Earth. I'll be delving into the history of nuclear innovation, from splitting the atom to the rise of deadly nuclear weapons, and I'll be explaining how mastery of star power could provide essentially carbon free power for the planet for millions, or even billions, of years.

I am thrilled to be bringing this astonishing story to a wider audience. The quest for fusion is fascinating – there are mysterious types of matter, giant lasers, secretive start-ups in warehouses, and the most powerful forces in the Universe. It’s a story well worth telling.

If you're interested in my outreach activities or my writing, please scroll down to the media section.

You can also find links to my research papers below. All views are my own.

On the web

Bank of England

Bank research


Twitter feed


On Google scholar

Imperial plasma physics

Learn more about high energy density physics


Public talks and articles.

Podcast interview for centralbanking.com

Part of their series on rewiring macroeconomics. Check out previous episodes to hear from John Muellbauer, David Hendry, and David Vines.

Using machine learning to understand the mix of jobs in the economy in real-time

Bank Underground blog post on capturing changes in the types of job available in the economy using unsupervised machine learning. Original research paper here.

What’s in the news? Text-based confidence indices and growth forecasts

Bank Underground blog post on using newspaper text as an input to nowcasts.

Making big data work for economics

Bank Underground blog post on using 'big data' to develop new measures of job vacancies in the UK. Full paper here. We posted the code we developed on the Bank's github here.

"Adopting Agent-based models for public policy"

Lecture given at the US Treasury during a conference on Heterogeneous Agents and Agent-based Modelling

Why I left physics for economics

An article in The Guardian about why I chose to leave physics.

Interdisciplinarity for macro

Coverage on Central Banking.com.

Agent-based economic models offer more realism

Coverage in the Financial Times (£) of my work on agent-based models. For context and more, see the Martin Wolf story on rebuilding macroeconomics and the FT's collection on rethinking macroeconomics.

Power and progress

Power and progress - a short post on the Bank Underground blog showing the correlation between GDP per capita and electricity generation per capita.

Forming strong bonds

Forming strong bonds: dynamics in corporate bond markets. A post on the Bank Underground blog.

Quarterly Bulletin

Agent-based models: understanding the economy from the bottom up. An article in the 2016Q4 Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.

Pint of Science

Talks in London and Cambridge on nuclear fusion for the Pint of Science festival. Interviewed on BBC Breakfast about the festival.

Laser Quest

A night celebrating the uses of lasers held at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch by Super/Collider. There were also talks by Lian Han and Ceri Brenner, as well as some very interesting tea from Bompas & Parr.

Reach out

A video about the uses of light in science for the continuing professional development of primary school teachers.

Science in Parliament

An article in the parliamentary science magazine, aimed at policymakers.

Business green interview

Interviewed about Lockheed Martin's new fusion scheme.

Science Museum Late on Energy

Building a Star on Earth... with lasers! Part of the Science Museum's excellent Lates series.

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Lead scientist of an exhibit called "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" at the ever-fantastic RSSSE. For this exhibition, an ebook was created which is still available to download here for ipad and Mac (warning: it is a 400mb file). There was widespread, if sometimes odd, coverage of the exhibit by the British Council, The Telegraph, and Imperial College London, as well as a Q&A Twitter session still available on storify. I was also interviewed by the Royal Society for the event.

Plasma: The mysterious fourth state of matter

Plasma: The mysterious fourth state of matter, a talk at the 2011 British Science Festival.

Occupation coder

Given a job title, job description, and job sector this algorithm assigns a 3-digit standard occupational classification (SOC) code to a job using the SOC 2010 standard.

Get in touch

General enquiries:


For TV, media, and literary enquiries related to plasma physics:

Northbank Talent Management


+44 (0)20 7766 5220