Tom McLeish FRS is Professor of Physics at Durham University. His scientific research over the last 25 years has contributed to the formation of the new field of ‘soft matter physics’ – interdisciplinary work with chemists, chemical engineers and biologists has sought to connect molecular structure and behaviour with emergent material or biological properties. He has also worked intensively with industrial researchers developing molecular design tools for new polymeric (plastic) materials, leading large national and international programmes, with his personal contributions mostly theoretical. Throughout he has also maintained an interest in public engagement with science, science policy and public values including the underlying, but often hidden, public narratives of science. He has been especially interested in the potential for theological narratives to inform debates in science and technology, both explicitly and implicitly. He explores historical, sociological and theological approaches to contribute to a long cultural narrative for science in the recent book Faith and Wisdom in Science.