Biography of Sir John Currie Gunn
Sir John Currie Gunn (1916-2002) was Cargill Professor of Natural Philosophy from 1949 to 1982. He was one of the University's first Vice-Principals, 1972 to 1977, and Dean of Faculties from 1988 until 1992. He was awarded a DSc in 2001.
Born in Glasgow, Gunn was educated at the Academy and studied Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the University, graduating MA in 1937 with the Logan Prize. He went on to study at St John's College, Cambridge and subsequently worked on the development of counter-systems and then on firing systems for mines during the Second World War.
After the war, Gunn was a lecturer in Applied Mathematics at the University of Manchester and then began research in nuclear physics and particle physics at University College, London. In 1949 he was appointed to the Cargill Chair in Glasgow, which Professor Philip Dee wished to lead research in theoretical physics as he developed a centre of expertise in nuclear and particle physics. With Dee, he was able to obtain funding to build a linear electron accelerator for nuclear physics research.
Gunn was a member of the Science Research Council (SRC) from 1968 to 1972 (and was Chairman from 1970 to 1972), and he was a member of the University Grants Committee, 1973 to 1981. He was appointed CBE in 1976 and was knighted in 1982.