Professor John C. Brown

10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland


1984 - D.Sc. - Plasma astrophysics, U. Glasgow (Kelvin Medal)
1973 - Ph.D. - Solar plasma physics, U. Glasgow
1968 - 1st Class B.Sc. Physics & Astronomy, U. Glasgow
1958-64 Dumbarton Academy (School Dux & Denny Medallist)
1952-58 Hartfield Primary, Dumbarton

10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland (since February 1995)
University of Glasgow, Regius Chair of Astronomy (1996 -)
University of Glasgow, Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Group Leader (1986 -),
University of Edinburgh , Honorary Professor (1996 - )
University of Aberdeen , Honorary Professor (1998 - )

Chair of Astrophysics 1984 – 1996; Reader in Astronomy 1980-84
Nuffield Science Research Fellow 1983-84
Senior Lecturer in Astronomy 1978-80
Lecturer in Astronomy 1970-78
Research Assistant in Astronomy 1968-70

Marlar Lecturer Rice University Texas 2006
U. California, Berkeley 2006
T&S Project Astronomer National Maritime Museum 2004-6
University of Alabama at Huntsville 2003
Observatoire de Paris Meudon 1999 – CNRS Fellow
NASA Goddard SFC 1999
ETH Zurich 1999
U. Amsterdam 1984 and 1999 (Spinoza fund)
U. Sydney 1993 and 1996
U. Wisconsin-Madison 1987-88 (Brittingham Professor)
U.California San Diego 1984
U. Cambridge 1983
U.Maryland /NASA 1980 – NRC Fellow
NCAR High Altitude Observatory 1977
Australian National University 1975
University of Utrecht 1973-74 (ESRO/GROC Fellow)
University of Tübingen 1972-72 (DAAD Fellow)
Harvard Smithsonian Observatory 1967 and 1969

Royal Astronomical Gold Medal for Geophysics 2012
NASA Team/Co-I Achievement Award 2003 for Excellence of RHESSI Mission
IoP Award 2002 for Promotion of Public Awareness of Physics
2001/2 BAA Physics Section President
Armagh Robinson Medal Lecturer 1998
Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IoP) 1996
Kelvin Medallist & Lecturer, Royal Philosophical Socy. of Glasgow 1996
Member European Acad. Arts, Sciences & Humanities 1995-
RoySoc/BA Millennium Fellow 1988-89
Associate Member Brazilian Academy of Sciences 1988-
RAS Vice President 1986-87
Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1984-
Nuffield Science Research Fellow 1983 - 84
Glasgow U. Kelvin Prize Medallist 1983-86
Fellow Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) 1973 –

RSE : Council (1997-2000), Cormack Committee. 1984 (Chair 1995-),
Grants Comm. 1991-94 , Fellowships Committee, 1990-93
RAS : Council 1984-87, 90-93, Vice-President 1986-87,
• SERC Assessor 1984-87, 1989-91
IAU/RAS UK National Organising Committee GA 2000
IOP Plasma Physics Committee 1985-88
Scottish Science Trust – Science Advisory Panel 1999 –2000
GSC Planetarium Consultant 1998- 2000

Research: (co-)supervised ~30 postgad students in solar physics, plasma physics, stellar physics and solar sails + numerous summer undergraduate projects
Taught Summer Schools - Kanzelhoehe Solar Physics School 2003 PPARC Summer Schools 1991, 2004
Undergrad : Exploring the Sky; Solar System Physics; Solar Physics;
Near Space Environment; Meteors and Comets; Exploring Planetary Systems;
Stellar Structure and Evolution; Stellar Atmospheres and Winds;
Compact Objects; X-Ray Astrophysics; Cosmology; Numerical Astronomy; Dynamical Astronomy

Interests: Plasma astrophysics/physics; solar physics ; stellar wind astrophysics;
Signal analysis methods, solar-sailed spacecraft; comets and meteors

Publications: Over 250 papers, 1 book and 4 book chapters mainly in solar physics, stellar polarimetry, plasma astrophysics, and inverse problems.

Collaborations: Past and current collaborations include Sheffield, RAL, Meudon, Leiden, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Zurich, Genoa, Verona, Graz, Potsdam, Debrecen, Ondrejov, NCAR HAO, NASA-Goddard, UC San Diego, Huntsville AL , Berkeley, U.W.- Madison, Johns Hopkins APL, Ohio State, Bartol, E.Tennessee SU, Rice, Oklahoma SU, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Waikato.

Space Project Involvement :
Guest/Associate Investigator - ESRO TD1A, Skylab, Solar Max Mission;
YohKoh, SOHO; SMM Workshop Team Leader; Spacelab WUPPE; UK Co-I on NASA RHESSI Mission

Organising Committees Of Meetings :
UK SMM Workshop Organising Committee and Team Leader l983-84.
NASA SMM Workshop Team Leader, October 1985.
RAS/BAAS Mason Conference on Gravitation in Astronomy l985.
RAS Discussion Meeting, 9/3/90.
Chantilly Plasma Workshop, 26-30/3/90.
RAS Out of Town Meeting, 4-6/4/90.
NATO ASI in Solar Physics, Crieff l6-29/6/91.
SERC Astronomy Postgrad Summer School, 7-17/9/92.
Flares 22 Workshop Team Leader, Ottawa 5/93.
Science Faculty Centennial Astronomy Events 9/93.
CCP7 Workshop on Stellar Small Scale Structure Glasgow March 1996
IAU National Organising Committee – General Assembly Manchester 2000
RAS Discussion Meeting (RHESSI) 2002
BA Physics Section Meeting Glasgow 2003
NASA RHESSI Workshops, Glasgow 2003, 2004, 2005
IAU Prague 2006 Chair JD1 – Cosmic Particle Acceleration

IoP Award 2002 for Promotion of Public Awareness of Physics, particularly in recognition of the planetarium work and use of magic in science, described below

Planetarium & Schools Work:
• Millennium Fellow Award1988-89 to help amateurs at Coats Planetarium develop school talks and shows
• SHEFC 1995 £78k Grant for 3 Starlab planetaria (Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews) with which we have visited ca. 100,000 pupils. Ongoing costs have been met partly by grants from PPARC, Royal Society, RSE and Glasgow University
• Consultant Glasgow Science Centre Space Theatre (Planetarium) - wrote and performed opening show 2002
• Co-organiser of 2002 AGM of British Assocn. of Planetarians
• RSE Cormack 2005 small grant £400 for portable solar telescope for use with schools planetarium visits
• Project Astronomer/Consultant Royal Observatory Greenwich Time & Space Project 2004-2006
• Opening Shows at Birmingham Thinktank, 2005 and Newcastle Centre for Life, 2007
• PPARC/STFC 2007 Grant £7500 to extend Bradford Robotic Telescope to Scottish Curriculum

Typically around 10 public lectures presented per year to the public, science festivals, (e.g. Slovenia, Orkney, Edinburgh, Malaysia, Lower Silesia, Montreal) , societies, schools. These include my particularly popular lectures on :

• Black Holes & White Rabbits (once to a schools audience of 1200)
• Who puts the Iron in Irn Bru?
• The Uncertain Universe
• SS433 – The Strangest Star in the Galaxy
• Life in a Violent Universe

The first of the above is now in a series I developed with help from physics student magicienne Karen Mann to use magic to dramatise unusual science. Development was supported by a PPARC PUST Award.
Royal Society Summer Exhibition Soirees, July 2002. I was invited presenter of the evening shows, comprising two performances each of Black Holes and White Rabbits and Abra cad Astra
Opening Einstein Year Lecture, U. Montreal 2005

My science and magic presentations have been used by the OU Final Frontier series and recorded for 6 programs on Natl. Geographic TV.
The Sky at Night – participant in shows in May 2006 and 2007 and in September 2007 (Black Magic special)

Consultant on play No future in Eternity by T. Harkness and L. Cotterill - Edinburgh Fringe 2000 – funded by PPARC PUST Grant £7500