Centre for Theoretical Cosmology News

Royal Society Biographical Memoir – John Barrow

The Royal Society has recently published a biographical memoir of the Professor John Barrow, a longstanding member and trustee of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2020. The memoir was written by Professor George Ellis, also a former faculty member in DAMTP and now Professor Emeritus in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, who knew John throughout his career. It is part of the series Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society.

John Barrow receiving the Queen's Anniversary Prize on behalf of the Millennium Mathematics Project

The memoir describes John’s early life, his education and academic career, and gives a highly readable summary of his main areas of research. It also describes his enormous contribution as an outstanding communicator of science to the public and the many awards he received during his career, including the 2006 Templeton Prize and his 2019 appointment to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences by Pope Francis.

A theoretical cosmologist, John Barrow was Professor of Mathematical Sciences and Fellow of Clare Hall. During his career he published more than 500 research papers in astrophysics and cosmology, and more than twenty books about many aspects of science and mathematics which were translated into twenty-eight languages. In 1999 he became director of the newly created Millennium Mathematics Project, an outreach programme for school students, teachers and the general public for which he was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Educational Achievement.

The memoir is free to read online on the Royal Society’s website, where it can also be downloaded as a PDF:



Image credit: Tom Powell