2012 President's Medal

Professor Brian Cox

University of Manchester

For his achievements in promoting science to the general public and inspiring the next generation of physicists.

Brian Cox has, with great success, married his career as a particle physicist, with his work as a populariser of science. There are many scientists who do excellent work explaining science to general audiences, but few, if any, can do this with the charisma and cool of Brian Cox. He communicates the joy and wonderment of scientific discovery in an intensely personal way. This makes him a true role model for young people.

His television programmes for example, ‘Wonders of the Universe’ are beautifully made, accessible, and yet scientifically rigorous. He can be funny. His radio programme, ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’, which takes a light hearted look at science, has a cult following.  

He also writes books, the most recent example being his book ‘The Quantum Universe’, co-written with his Manchester colleague Jeff Forshaw. 

The book is informal in style and yet serious in its intent to explain quantum mechanics, a style which embodies his approach as a science populariser.  

The public’s interest in Physics has never been higher, and in particular the interest of young people. There is no doubt that Brian Cox has played a really important part in this. We are very lucky to have him, and are delighted to honour him with this award.