Science Museum Fellows

The Science Museum Fellowship award recognises individuals who have contributed to the world of science and had an exceptional influence on modern culture.

In 2009, as part of the Museum’s centenary celebrations, we launched the Science Museum Fellows Programme to recognise some of the scientists and individuals who have changed our world through academic research, design, technology and philanthropy.

Every year we invite a few individuals to join the programme and become Fellows of the Science Museum.


2012 Fellowship Awards:

Professor Stephen Hawking 

Professor Stephen Hawking is probably the best-known scientist on the planet. He inspires us all through his ground-breaking research, his ability to communicate complex ideas to mass audiences and his defiance of motor neurone disease.

His work on quantum gravity represents a remarkable fusion between our theories of the very big (general relativity) and the very small (quantum theory) which led to his prediction of Hawking Radiation (‘black holes are not so black’). He is a prolific contributor to all areas of gravitational physics, in particular the origin and evolution of the universe. His book, A Brief History of Time, is a publishing phenomenon that brought complex cosmological and mathematical theory to the non-specialist reader. He also wrote The Universe in a Nutshell and The Grand Design.

He held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663, for thirty years (1979-2009). He is now Director of Research at DAMTP (Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics) and Founder of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He has over a dozen honorary degrees, and was awarded the Companion of Honour in 1989 and the US Freedom Medal in 2009. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science.

Professor Rolf Heuer

Professor Rolf Heuer’s relationship with CERN dates back to 1984 and much of his career has been involved with the construction and operation of particle detector systems for studying collisions between electrons and their antimatter equivalent. He left CERN after 15 years to take up a professorship in Hamburg, where he was also a member of the directorate of DESY (GermanElectron Synchrotron), the biggest German research centre for particle physics.

Prof Heuer returned to lead CERN at the start of 2009, at the most extraordinary time in particle physics. Leading an army of 10,000 scientists and engineers in the greatest intellectual adventure on the planet he has overseen the repair of the Large Hadron Collider and is now within reach of the greatest prize of all – the Higgs particle – along with new insights into antimatter and so much more. The Higgs is the last undiscovered cornerstone of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which partially explains how the universe was created and the rules that govern it. Rolf is passionate about using the visibility of the Large Hadron Collider to help re-engage science with society.

Existing alumni of the Fellows of the Science Museum include:

  • Sir Harry Kroto
  • Sir Timothy Hunt
  • Professor Anthony Hewish
  • Professor John Walker
  • Sir John Cornforth
  • Sir Anthony Leggett
  • Professor Brian Josephson
  • Sir Peter Mansfield
  • Sir John Sulston
  • Sir Paul Nurse
  • Professor Christian de Duve
  • Sir Andrew Huxley
  • Mr Martin Smith
  • Sir Richard Roberts
  • Professor Athene Donald
  • Sir David Attenborough
  • Professor Jocelyn Bell-Burnell
  • Baroness Susan Greenfield
  • Mr Jim Lovelock
  • Professor Wangari Maathai