Chris Lintott

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Chris Lintott

Chris Lintott speaking at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2008
Christopher John Lintott

(1980-11-26) 26 November 1980 (age 43)
Torbay, Devon, England
EducationTorquay Boys' Grammar School
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
ThesisAnalyses of the early stages of star formation (2006)
Doctoral advisor
Doctoral studentsBecky Smethurst
WebsiteOfficial website

Christopher John Lintott FRAS (born 26 November 1980)[3][4] is a British astrophysicist, author and broadcaster. He is a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford,[5][6] and since 2023 is the Gresham Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London.[7] Lintott is involved in a number of popular science projects aimed at bringing astronomy to a wider audience and is also the primary presenter of the BBC television series The Sky at Night, having previously been co-presenter with Patrick Moore until Moore's death in 2012. He co-authored Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe and The Cosmic Tourist with Moore and Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May.[8][9][10]


Lintott attended Torquay Boys' Grammar School in Devon. In 1999, while still at school, he won a $500 Earth and Space Sciences award and the Priscilla and Bart Bok Honorable Mention Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for an article on 'Cosmic dust around young stellar objects'.[citation needed] This came from a six-week project at the University of Hertfordshire funded by a Nuffield bursary. He read Natural Sciences at Magdalene College, Cambridge and in 2006 received a PhD in astrophysics from University College London, for his thesis on the early stages of star formation supervised by Ofer Lahav.[11]

Research and career[edit]

Chris Lintott at Jodcast Live in 2016

As of 2017 Lintott is co-director of the Programme on Computational Cosmology and Citizen Science Project Lead in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford,[6][12] and a Research Fellow of New College, Oxford.[13] He was the Director of Citizen Science Initiatives at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago from 2010 until 2012.[14]

His research focuses on galaxy evolution and the application of astrochemical models of star formation to galaxies beyond the Milky Way; particularly the use of sulphur compounds as a signature of stars that are in the process of formation.[15][16][17] After a recommendation from Ed Vaizey, former Culture Minister, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Lintott as Astronomy Trustee of the National Maritime Museum (NMM). His appointment ran from 24 June 2010 until 23 June 2014.[18]

Lintott's research has been published in a wide variety of peer-reviewed scientific journals.[6][16][17][19][20] He was formerly a Fulford junior research fellow at Somerville College, Oxford between 2006 and 2010.[15][18]

Lintott's research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).[21]

The Sky at Night[edit]

Lintott first appeared on the BBC astronomy programme The Sky at Night, presented by Patrick Moore, as a guest in 2000. As Moore's mobility deteriorated, Lintott acquired an increasingly prominent role, often providing on-location reporting from events covered by the programme. In an interview in 2007 with Mark Lawson, Moore described him as "eminently suitable" as a presenter.[22] He jointly presented the programme with Moore until the latter's death in December 2012. Since the February 2013 episode, Chris Lintott has been a co-presenter with Lucie Green (until December 2013) and with Maggie Aderin-Pocock (since February 2014). In July 2004, Moore suffered a near-fatal bout of food poisoning and Lintott stood in as the sole presenter of that month's episode.[23] It was the only episode which Moore did not present since the show was first broadcast on 24 April 1957 until his death.[24]

Galaxy Zoo and The Zooniverse[edit]

Chris Lintott is the co-founder, along with Kevin Schawinski, of Galaxy Zoo, an online crowdsourcing project where members of the public can volunteer their time to assist in classifying over a million galaxies.(e.g.[2][25][26][27][28]) Lintott stated when commenting on GZ: "One advantage is that you get to see parts of space that have never been seen before. These images were taken by a robotic telescope and processed automatically, so the odds are that when you log on, that first galaxy you see will be one that no human has seen before."[29] This was confirmed by Schawinski: "Most of these galaxies have been photographed by a robotic telescope, and then processed by computer. So this is the first time they will have been seen by human eyes."[30]

Lintott was the principal investigator (P.I.) of the Zooniverse citizen science platform for over 15 years.[31][32] Quoting from the Zooniverse Team page: "Astronomer and founder of both Galaxy Zoo and the Zooniverse that grew from it, Chris is interested in how galaxies form and evolve, how citizen science can change the world".[31] Lintott is also the chair of the Citizen Science Alliance, the organisation that produces, maintains and develops The Zooniverse.[33]


Lintott after a lecture for the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario in April 2010

In October 2006, Chris Lintott, Patrick Moore and Brian May co-authored a book entitled Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe, which was produced by Canopus Books and published by Carlton Books on 23 October 2006.[8] It has been translated into 13 languages and has appeared in paperback. As suggested by the title, the illustrated book is a history of the Universe from the Big Bang to its eventual predicted end. It is aimed at a popular science audience and claims to make its subject matter easily comprehensible to readers without any knowledge of astronomy.[34]

In October 2012, Brian May, Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott co-authored a book entitled The Cosmic Tourist: The 100 Most Awe-inspiring Destinations in the Universe.[35] On the book's PR page, it is stated: "Take your seats for the greatest tour ever – one that encompasses no less than the whole of the Universe."[36]

Chris Lintott's book, The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse was released in 2019.[37]

Awards and honours[edit]

Lintott is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.[38] In 2011, Lintott was awarded the Royal Society Kohn Award. He was awarded this (quoting from the Royal Society webpage): "For his excellent engagement with society in matters of science and its societal dimension."[39]

In 2013, Lintott was awarded the Oxford Internet Institute Internet and Society Award. He was given this (quoting from the OII website): "in recognition of Galaxy Zoo's outstanding contributions to research by using crowd-sourced citizen science to capitalise on the availability of online big data-sets."[15][38]

In 2014, he received the Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize from the American Astronomical Society. He was awarded this (quoting from the AAS website): "For his insight and creativity that created a transformative approach to science by engaging nonscientists in cutting edge research."[40]

In 2015, he won the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and Prize. In 2020 he was elected a Legacy Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. [41]

Real Tennis[edit]

Lintott is a fan and player of the game of real tennis, where he represents the Oxford University Tennis Club.[42] In 2022, Lintott provided commentary for the broadcast of the 2022 Real Tennis World Championship at Prested Hall in Feering, Essex.[43] In 2023, he also provided commentary for the finals of the 2023 Ladies World Championship.[44]


  • Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe, 2006, ISBN 978-0-801-88985-1
  • The Cosmic Tourist: The 100 Most Awe-inspiring Destinations in the Universe, 2012, ISBN 978-1-847-32619-5
  • The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse, 2019, ISBN 978-0-198-84222-4


  1. ^ a b "Chris Lintott". UCL. 12 December 2012. Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Lintott, C. J.; Schawinski, K.; Slosar, A. E.; Land, K.; Bamford, S.; Thomas, D.; Raddick, M. J.; Nichol, R. C.; Szalay, A.; Andreescu, D.; Murray, P.; Vandenberg, J. (September 2008). "Galaxy Zoo: Morphologies derived from visual inspection of galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 389 (3): 1179–1189. arXiv:0804.4483. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.389.1179L. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13689.x. S2CID 15279243.
  3. ^ "Meet the Team – Chris Lintott". Daily Zooniverse. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. ^ Al-Khalili, Jim (17 June 2014). "Chris Lintott". The Life Scientific. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  5. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2012). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (6th ed.). Springer. p. 402. ISBN 9783642297182.
  6. ^ a b c "Chris Lintott profile". University of Oxford. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Chris Lintott appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy". Gresham College. 22 June 2023. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  8. ^ a b Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe. Carlton Books Ltd. 2009. ISBN 978-1-84732-336-1.
  9. ^ Brockes, Emma (19 October 2006). "Friend to the stars". London, UK: Guardian Unlimited Arts. Retrieved 27 November 2006.
  10. ^ Chris Lintott Podcasts A collection of Lintotts' podcasts from the University of Oxford.
  11. ^ Lintott, Christopher John (2006). Analyses of the early stages of star formation. (PhD thesis). University College London. OCLC 926299378. EThOS
  12. ^ "Computational Cosmology". University of Oxford. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Christopher Lintott". New College, Oxford. 2014. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  14. ^ "TVO Guests". TVO. 2014. Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  15. ^ a b c "Chris Lintott Receives Internet and Society Award from the Oxford Internet Institute". University of Oxford. 2013. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  16. ^ a b Chris Lintott's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  17. ^ a b Chris Lintott publications in Google Scholar
  18. ^ a b "National Maritime Museum appointment" (PDF). UK Government. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  19. ^ Chris Lintott publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  20. ^ "C.J. Lintott ADS citations". SAO/NASA. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  21. ^ UK Government research grants awarded to Chris Lintott Archived 12 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine, via Research Councils UK,; accessed 15 March 2015.
  22. ^ "Mark Lawson chats to Patrick Moore". BBC. 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  23. ^ "A Brief Interview With Sir Patrick Moore". Universe Today. 15 November 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  24. ^ "Sir Patrick hit by food poisoning". BBC News. 6 July 2004. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  25. ^ S.P. Bamford; R.C. Nichol; I.K. Baldry; K. Land; C.J. Lintott; K. Schawinski; A. Slosar; A.S. Szalay; D. Thomas; M. Torki; D. Andreescu; E.M. Edmondson; C.J. Miller; P. Murray; M.J.Raddick; J. Vandenberg (March 2009). "Galaxy Zoo: the dependence of morphology and colour on environment". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 393 (4): 1324–1352. arXiv:0805.2612. Bibcode:2009MNRAS.393.1324B. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14252.x. S2CID 18119729.
  26. ^ R.A. Skibba; S.P. Bamford; R.C. Nichol; C.J. Lintott; D. Andreescu; E.M. Edmondson; P. Murray; M.J. Raddick; K. Schawinski; A. Slosar; A.S. Szalay; D. Thomas; J. Vandenberg (October 2009). "Galaxy Zoo: disentangling the environmental dependence of morphology and colour". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 399 (2): 966–982. arXiv:0811.3970. Bibcode:2009MNRAS.399..966S. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15334.x. S2CID 49483558.
  27. ^ K. Schawinski; C.M. Urry; S. Virani; P. Coppi; S.P. Bamford; E. Treister; C.J. Lintott; M. Sarzi; W.C. Keel; S. Kaviraj; C.N. Cardamone; K.L. Masters; N.P. Ross; D. Andreescu; P. Murray; R.C. Nichol; M.J. Raddick; A. Slosar; A.S. Szalay; D. Thomas; J. Vandenberg (March 2010). "Galaxy Zoo: The Fundamentally Different Co-Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes and Their Early- and Late-Type Host Galaxies". The Astrophysical Journal. 711 (1): 284–302. arXiv:1001.3141. Bibcode:2010ApJ...711..284S. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/711/1/284. S2CID 17664494.
  28. ^ C. Lintott; K. Schawinski; S. Bamford; A. Slosar; K. Land; D. Thomas; E. Edmondson; K. Masters; R. Nichol; J. Raddick; A. Szalay; D. Andreescu; P. Murray; J. Vandenberg (January 2011). "Galaxy Zoo 1 : Data Release of Morphological Classifications for nearly 900,000 galaxies". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 410 (1): 166–178. arXiv:1007.3265. Bibcode:2011MNRAS.410..166L. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17432.x. S2CID 56460191.
  29. ^ "Scientists seek galaxy hunt help". BBC News. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  30. ^ M. Hopkin (11 July 2007). "See new galaxies – without leaving your chair". News@nature: news070709–7. doi:10.1038/news070709-7. S2CID 153447885. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  31. ^ a b "The Zooniverse Team". The Zooniverse. 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  32. ^ chrislintott (6 September 2023). "A note from Chris Lintott". Zooniverse. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  33. ^ "Citizen Science Alliance website". Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  34. ^ Kennedy, Maev (24 October 2006). "Guitarist joins astronomers to tell history of universe". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 7 January 2007.
  35. ^ B. May; P. Moore; C. Lintott (11 October 2012). The Cosmic Tourist: The 100 Most Awe-inspiring Destinations in the Universe. Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1847326195.
  36. ^ "The Cosmic Tourist". BangUniverse. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  37. ^ The Crowd and the Cosmos. Oxford University Press. January 2020. ISBN 9780198842224. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  38. ^ a b "An interview of Lintott by Victoria Nash of the OII". November 2013. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Royal Society Kohn Award". The Royal Society. 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize". The American Astronomical Society. 2014. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  41. ^ "AAS Fellows". AAS. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  42. ^ "Brodie Cup 2021/22". Tennis & Rackets Association.
  43. ^ "2022 Real Tennis World Championship - Day 3". YouTube.
  44. ^ "2023 Ladies World Championship Final". YouTube. T&RA Media.

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