2010 Kelvin medal and prize
Professor Brian Cox
The University of Manchester
For communicating the appeal and excitement of physics to the general public through the broadcast media.
Brian Cox holds a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and leads the UK upgrade project for Atlas forward physics, representing a promising alternative strategy for detection of the Higgs particle. He is also one of the very few senior scientists to have been a member of a nationally acclaimed "rock band".
He has a high profile in the media as a populariser of science. This is as a result of his significant work in promoting physics, particularly particle physics and cosmology. He has made a wide variety of exciting programmes both on TV and radio; always writing the scripts himself in order to maintain their scientific integrity.
His many credits include regular appearances for BBC Radio 4, a three part series for BBC knowledge 'Moments of genius', a five part radio series 'Einstein's letters' to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Einstein's 'Annus Mirabilis' in 2005 and four BBC2 Horizon programmes. The 5-part BBC2 series 'Wonders of the Solar System' was broadcast in April 2010. Brian is currently filming a new series, 'Wonders of the Universe', to be broadcast in early 2011.
He is also very active on the radio and in print, as well as carrying out an major series of lectures to schools, universities and science societies. His book, "Why does E=mc^2?", co-written with long-time collaborator Professor Jeff Forshaw, is currently on the Sunday Times non-fiction best seller list.
He is widely respected as a commentator and his views are sought not only by the media but also by Government.
Brian Cox is a key advisor to STFC in its work to promote the Large Hadron Collider, and it would be fair to say that he played a significant part in the large amount of publicity it received this year. Brian does this work while principally being an active scientist at the forefront of research in particle physics. His major contributions to projects at international laboratories are recognised by frequent invitations to speak at international research conferences. This combination of scientific credibility, and an engaging and charismatic public image is a very unusual and of great benefit to physics in particular and science in general.