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Fellows Directory

John Polkinghorne

John Polkinghorne

Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne KBE FRS


Elected: 1974


John Polkinghorne is a physicist recognised for his contributions to the study of interactions between fundamental particles. Amongst those involved in the discovery of the quark, he carried out important work in the study of particle scattering and its underpinnings in quantum field theory.

A leading figure in the field of particle physics, John’s research led to the development of improved theoretical models of particle behaviour which continue to be used today. Stepping down from his professorship at Cambridge in 1979, John entered the ordained ministry of the Church of England while retaining a strong involvement in scientific matters. A chair of numerous governmental committees on medical ethics, he is a prolific author of books aimed at communicating concepts of both science and religion to the general public.

John was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire in 1997 for distinguished service to science, religion, learning and medical ethics, and received the 2002 Templeton Prize for Science and Religion.

Professional positions

Fellow, Queens' College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Other
    • Scientific information provision
  • Astronomy and physics
    • Elementary particle physics


Elementary particle physics, High energy scattering

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