Tom McLeish square

Professor Tom McLeish

Tom McLeish is inaugural Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, England, and is also affiliated to the University’s Centre for Medieval Studies and Humanities Research Centre.  His scientific research in ‘soft matter and biological physics,’ has inspired collaborations with chemists, engineers, and biologists to study relationships between molecular structure and emergent material properties, recognized by major awards in the USA and Europe. He has conceived, won funding for, and directed several large interdisciplinary collaborations and currently leads the UK ‘Physics of Life’ network. He holds a 5-year ESPRC personal research fellowship focusing on the physics of protein signalling and the self-assembly of silk fibres.  Tom is author of Faith and Wisdom in Science (OUP 2014), The Poetry and Music of Science (OUP 2019) and Soft Matter: A Very Short Introduction (OUP 2020). He co-leads the Ordered Universe project, a large interdisciplinary re-examination of 13th century science. He has also contributed to the philosophy of emergence, and to research in cross-curricular education for post-16 pupils.  From 2008 to 2014 he served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Durham University, from 2012-2015 Vice President for Science at the UK Institute of Physics, and from 2015-2020 Chair of the Royal Society’s Education Committee. He is currently a Council Member of the Royal Society, a trustee of the John Templeton Foundation, and chair of Harvard University’s Knox postgraduate awards