John D. Barrow | Wikipedia audio article


John David Barrow (born 29 November 1952)
is an English cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and mathematician. Most recently, he served as Gresham Professor
of Geometry at Gresham College from 2008 to 2011. Barrow is also a writer of popular science
and an amateur playwright.==Education==
Barrow attended Barham Primary School in Wembley until 1964 and Ealing Grammar School for Boys
from 1964–71 and obtained his first degree in mathematics and physics from Van Mildert
College at the University of Durham in 1974. In 1977, he completed his doctorate in astrophysics
at Magdalen College, Oxford, supervised by Dennis William Sciama.==Career and research==
Barrow was a Junior Research Lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford, from 1977–81. He did two postdoctoral years as a Miller
Research Fellow in astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Commonwealth
Lindemann Fellow (1977–8) and Miller Fellow (1980–1). In 1981 he joined the University of Sussex
and rose to the rank of Professor and Director of the Astronomy Centre. In 1999, he became Professor in the Department
of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and a fellow in Clare Hall at Cambridge University. He is Director of the Millennium Mathematics
Project. From 2003–2007 he was Gresham Professor
of Astronomy at Gresham College, London, and he has been appointed as Gresham Professor
of Geometry from 2008–2011; only one person has previously held two different Gresham
chairs. In 2008, the Royal Society awarded him the
Faraday Prize. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
(London) in 2003 and elected Fellow of the Academia Europaea in 2009. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the
Universities of Hertfordshire, Sussex, Durham, S. Wales and Szczecin, and is an Honorary
Professor at the University of Nanjing. He is an Honorary Fellow of Van Mildert College,
Durham University and of Gresham College, London. He was a Centenary Gifford Lecturer at the
University of Glasgow in 1989. Since 1999, he has directed the Millennium
Mathematics Project (MMP) at the University of Cambridge. This is an outreach and education programme
to improve the appreciation, teaching and learning of mathematics and its applications. In 2006 it was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary
Prize for Educational Achievement by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In addition to having published more than
500 journal articles, Barrow has coauthored (with Frank J. Tipler) The Anthropic Cosmological
Principle, a work on the history of the ideas, specifically intelligent design and teleology,
as well as a treatise on astrophysics. He has also published 22 books for general
readers, beginning with his 1983 The Left Hand of Creation. His books summarise the state of the affairs
of physical questions, often in the form of compendia of a large number of facts assembled
from the works of great physicists, such as Paul Dirac and Arthur Eddington. Barrow’s approach to philosophical issues
posed by physical cosmology makes his books accessible to general readers. For example, Barrow introduced a memorable
paradox, which he called “the Groucho Marx Effect” (see Russell-like paradoxes). Here, he quotes Groucho Marx: “I wouldn’t
want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member”. Applying this to problems in cosmology, Barrow
states: “A universe simple enough to be understood is too simple to produce a mind capable of
understanding it.” Barrow has lectured at 10 Downing Street,
Windsor Castle, and the Vatican, as well as to the general public. In 2002, his play Infinities premiered in
Milan, played in Valencia, and won the Premi Ubu 2002 Italian Theatre Prize. He was awarded the 2006 Templeton Prize for
“Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities” for his “writings about
the relationship between life and the universe, and the nature of human understanding [which]
have created new perspectives on questions of ultimate concern to science and religion”. He is a member of a United Reformed Church,
which he describes as teaching “a traditional deistic picture of the universe”.He was awarded
the Dirac Prize and Gold Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2015 and the Gold Medal of the
Royal Astronomical Society in 2016.===Publications===
In English: In other languages: Perché il mondo è matematico? (in Italian)As
editor: Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H2O.
(ed., with Ruth M. Lynden-Bell, Simon Conway Morris, John L. Finney, Charles Harper, Jr.) CRC Press, 2010. ISBN 1-4398-0356-0
Fitness of the Cosmos for Life: Biochemistry and Fine-Tuning. (eds., with S. Conway Morris, S.J. Freeland, and C.L. Harper), Cambridge UP,
2007. ISBN 978-1-10740655-1
Science and Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Complexity, 90th Birthday Volume
for John Archibald Wheeler, (ed., with P.C.W. Davies, & C. Harper), Cambridge UP, 2004. ISBN 0-521-83113-X
The Physical Universe: The Interface Between Cosmology, Astrophysics and Particle Physics,
(ed., with A Henriques, M Lago, Malcolm Longair), Springer-Verlag, 1991. ISBN 978-3540542933