Rob Doubal

Rob Doubal

Chief creative officer McCann UK and co-president McCann London

McCann London

Contact me
  • n/s
  • fancyparsnip
  • Communications House, 7-11 Herbrand Street, London, WC1N 1EX, United Kingdom
My Character:
  • Cultural alchemist
Work email

rob@mccann.com

Bye-bye the decade with no name. What are you relieved to draw a line under?

Mathematical symmetries, such as shared masses or other attributes, mean the actual number of parameters that have to be adjusted by hand in the Standard Model is still large, and I’m fed up of it.

What’s your biggest hope for the decade ahead?

I hope everyone comes to realise that quantum electrodynamics is unrelated to circles or spheres, but rather to the property of waves.

And what’s top of your professional to-do list for the 2020s?

The whole point of reductive science is to be able to predict and control nature. This will remain my focus for 2020.

You have to job swap with someone in our industry for one month. Who would it be with and why?

Robert Wilson. The director of Fermilab. Who came from frontiersman stock and liked to inspect his facility on horseback.

Who is your best friend in the industry and why?

The young Soviet physicist George Gamow. Who explained at a Cavendish seminar that alpha decay was a quantum process in which the alpha particles tunnelled their way out of the atom courtesy of Shrodinger's wave equation.

What do you think the Friday feeling is?

Equilibrium.

Who or what would you put into room 101 and why?

String theory. It’s main problem being that so far it has not told us anything measurable about nature that we didn’t already know.

If you could uninvent one piece of technology, what would you choose and why?

The atomic bomb was the ultimate Pythagorean/Apollonian weapon, waging war with the clarity, beauty and power of the sun, and its blinding flash etched the scientific aesthetic into our consciousness in a way that has yet to fade. But its deployment remains philosophically tricky.

In the spirit of embracing failure… What has been your biggest screw-up?

Natura non facit saltum.

What do you do to stay match fit?

Remain symmetrical.

What would be your darts walk-on music and why?

The sound of a thousand supernovas. Because, like the universe itself, the sounds of a dying star are impermanent, flawed and delicately contrived – and that, perhaps, is the most beautiful thing about them.

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