John Brown

Biography of John Brown

John Campbell Brown (1947-2019) was Professor of Astrophysics at the University in 1984 and became Regius Professor of Astronomy in 1996. He was Astronomer Royal for Scotland from 1995 until his death.

John was educated at Dumbarton Academy, where he won the Dux and Denny medals, before joining the University of Glasgow, where he gained his 1st Class B.Sc. Physics & Astronomy in 1968. He then joined the department as a Research Assistant, and completed his PhD in solar plasma physics in 1973.

Much of his academic career was at the University of Glasgow, where John became Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Chair, and Regius Professor of Astronomy.

In 1984 he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) from Glasgow for his work in plasma astrophysics.

Over a long and varied career, he held many visiting fellowships in Europe, the US and Australia, and was had held honorary professorships of the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen for over 20 years.

John was notable for his public engagement work, visiting schools and universities, supporting television and theatre work, to promote his science. He sometimes performed magic in his talks, or quote Scots poetry, and lectured on subjects such as 'Who puts the Iron in Irn Bru?'.

John passed away in November 2019 at the age of 72.


John Brown
Physicist and Astronomer

Born 1947.
Died 16 November 2019.
University Link: Professor
GU Degrees: BSc, 1968; PhD, 1973; DSc, 1984;
Occupation categories: astronomers; physicists
Search for this person in UK Who's Who
Record last updated: 19th Nov 2019

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  • Professor

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