Skip to content

Tom McLeish

Professor (Emeritus) of Natural Philosophy, Department of Physics, University of York, UK

Tom McLeish was Emeritus Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of York. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, he chaired its Education Committee. He was also a Senior Associate of Pembroke College, Oxford, and a former fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge.

After a first degree in physics and PhD in polymer physics at Cambridge University, a lectureship at Sheffield University in complex fluid physics led him to receiving a chair at Leeds University from 1993. From 2008-2016, he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor (VP) for Research at Durham University, and he held his current highly interdisciplinary position, spanning the sciences and humanities at York, from 2018.

He won several awards both in Europe (Weissenberg Medal) and the USA (Bingham Medal) for his work on molecular rheology of polymers, and ran a large collaborative and multidisciplinary research programme in this field from 1999-2009 co-funded by EPSRC and industry.

His research interests included: (i) molecular rheology of polymeric fluids); (ii) macromolecular biological physics; (iii) issues of theology, ethics, literature and history of science. He published over 250 scientific papers and chapters, and he was regularly involved in science-communication with the public, including lectures and workshops on science and faith, and as a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’. In 2014, OUP published his first book Faith and Wisdom in Science, and in 2018 The Poetry and Music of Science. He was a Reader in the Anglican Church since 1993, in the dioceses of Ripon and York, and was awarded the Lanfranc Award by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2018.

Topic Series


The Poetry and Music of Science: Comparing Creativity in Science and Art

Buy the Book