Professor John Pethica

John Pethica is Physical Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society. He is Professor of Physics at Trinity College Dublin, and Chief Scientific Advisor at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999 and became the Society's Physical Secretary and Vice President in 2009.

His work is in nano-mechanics, thin films, surface physics and microscopy. He was previously Professor of Materials Science at the University of Oxford, and has also worked in industry in the USA and Switzerland. In 2001 he moved to Dublin as Research Professor, and was the founding director of the CRANN Nanotechnology centre with the Naughton Institute and the Science Gallery. Awards received include the Rosenhain Medal of the IOM3 (1997), the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society (2001) and the Holweck Medal from the French Physical Society (2002).

Our mission

To recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Our priorities

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement