He recently put his former life in the lab to good use for his What Is One Degree? programme on UKTV channel Eden and an essay called Why comedy will die in the year 6000.
Digital Spy got on the phone to ask him all about it. While we were there, we also quizzed Ben on working with popstar Jamelia and his future plans with comedy partner Alexander Armstrong.
What your evolution of comedy essay all about?
"It's my theory that comedy is going to die out in the year 6000. Looking at the timeline of comedy, the first joke was when prehistoric man was sat on by a woolly mammoth - large physical humour. Then we've got clowns in collapsible cars with square wheels. It's all quite big.
"Then we've got Fawlty Towers and it's arguably getting more minimalist. Things like The Office, and arguably shows like The Only Way Is Essex, are comedies, just using real people in real situations. The evolutionary trends seems to be continuing minimalism - so I'm predicting comedy will die out."
What will you do when that happens?
"Well, I'll be 6,047 by then, so I'll be alive in a jar somewhere just saying 'I told you so'. I'm not sure how I'll be saying that..."
From Brian Cox to Robin Ince - why is there so much crossover between science and comedy these days?
"Comedy's about things the way they are. It's about the world as it is, not the world as we would like it to be and science is the same really. Science is about how amazing that can be... you could argue that evolution is more remarkable in some ways than the idea of creation. It's not that things as they are are less exciting than things as we would want them to be, they're just different.
"I think comedians are always interested in that. The classic example is romantic comedy, when you have all our hopes and dreams about romantic love undercut by bodily functions. In Knocked Up - people getting red-eye from farting on pillows side-by-side with finding your life partner and raising a family. That's the fun of comedy and that's the fun of science."
What's your What Is One Degree? programme all about?
"It's about measurement. One of the ways we can find out what the world is really like is by measuring it. It comes from a conversation I had at a dinner party. They were saying that the temperature of the world hadn't gone up. My point was 'Yes it has. They've measured it'. They said, 'No, no, it was all fakes, it all came out in the press'. I said, 'No, that's not true, they hadn't faked the data. We have measured the temperature and it has gone up'.
"I thought there's a whole world to explore here. What is temperature? Do people really know what it is? Because it's not as straightforward as you might think. It was a bit of a response to an Alan Davies Horizon documentary which I really enjoyed, called How Long is a Piece of String? which was all about how difficult it is to measure something. I wanted to do the opposite. How accurately we can measure as well."
How comedic is the show?
"Oh, it's got funny bits in it. At the end of the day it's a comedian finding out about temperature, not a hard science person. But it's got some good science in it. It's a good mix of a bit of truth mixed in with a bit of slightly light-hearted banter."
Have you started filming the episode of Death in Paradise featuring Jamelia?
"We just shot it. Jamelia came back to the UK just before I did. She was out filming the show with us in Guadalupe. It's a great one that she's in. I don't want to give too much away but Death in Paradise is an odd mix between comedy and murder and drama. It's a very quirky, fun show."
What's Jamelia like to work with as an actor?
"She was brilliant. She was fantastic. Obviously we were all a bit overawed by the fact that she was Jamelia, but she was really great. She was very well-prepared, she knew exactly what she was doing. She's a very talented actor, and it was really fantastic fun working with her. She did a great job and I'm sure it'll be the beginning of big things for her - I think it's only the beginning for her."
Will there ever be another series of Armstrong & Miller?
"We're in a fallow period at the moment. We're not doing any more episodes of the sketch show just yet - I'm sure we'll do some at some point, but we're sort of talking about what we might do together. We're not going to rush into anything, we're looking for the right thing. It's a slightly boring thing to say, there's nothing to tell anybody about. We're working away as we always do and when we've got something that we think is worth having a go at, you'll be the first to know about it!"
Your QI appearance is a personal favourite - but do you worry that lower-quality panel stuff drowns out other types of comedy?
"I think panel shows are definitely having their day. Things go in cycles. I don't do a lot of panel shows - I only do one every couple of years. I think QI three years ago was the last one I did. I don't do a lot of them myself, not because I don't like them, but because I'm not as good at them as other people are. I think it's better to leave them to people like David Mitchell and Lee Mack who are absolutely brilliant at it. I love watching them as much as anyone.
"It happens in comedy all the time, one form of comedy becomes a predominate one and everyone gets sick of it and moves on to something else. I'm glad panel shows are having their time, I think they can be brilliant fun. No doubt something else will take its place. It's been a while since sitcom has really been the thing. Maybe that's due for a comeback. It's a bit like the stock market. Whatever nobody's buying is what the next big thing is going to be."
Comedy and controversy still seem to go hand in hand with each other... are the media too trigger-happy in making a fuss and do you worry about it when writing your material?
"It's not something I worry about for two reasons. I tend to do character comedy, so I don't find myself in that arena very often. I have occasionally. And secondly I think, 'Let's have the debate'.
"Personally I think people need to get over this being offended thing. Being offended does not give you the right to silence people. I get offended by things all the time - it's just part of life. The right not to be offended is not a human right, especially in a democracy. Let's have the debate - bring it on."
Ben Miller's What Is One Degree? features on UKTV channel Eden.