Philip Campbell (scientist)

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For other people of the same name, see Philip Campbell.
Sir Philip Campbell
Philip Campbell World Economic Forum 2013.jpg
Campbell at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos in 2013
Born Philip Henry Montgomery Campbell
(1951-04-19) 19 April 1951 (age 64)[1]
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Physics
Aeronautical engineering
Alma mater
Thesis The influence of the ionosphere on low frequency radio wave propagation (1979)
Known for Editor-in-Chief of Nature
Notable awards

Sir Philip Henry Montgomery Campbell, FInstP (born 19 April 1951) is a British astrophysicist and academic. He is the editor-in-chief of the science journal Nature, part of Nature Publishing Group.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Early life and education[edit]

Campbell was born on 19 April 1951.[1] He was educated at Shrewsbury School[1] and went on to study aeronautical engineering at the University of Bristol, graduating with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in 1972.[9] He then gained a Master of Science (MSc) in astrophysics at Queen Mary, University of London[10] before doing his PhD in upper atmospheric physics at the University of Leicester.[11] His doctoral and postdoctoral research was on the physics of the ionized upper atmosphere and effects on radio propagation, using the latter as a probe of the lower ionosphere.[12]


Campbell began working at Nature in 1979 and was appointed physical sciences editor in 1982. After leaving the journal in 1988 to start the publication Physics World, the membership magazine of the Institute of Physics, he returned to Nature as Editor-in-Chief in 1995, succeeding John Maddox.[13][14][15][16] He heads a team of about 90 editorial staff around the world.[17] He takes direct editorial responsibility for the content of Nature's editorials, writing some of them. He is the seventh editor-in-chief since the journal was launched in 1869.[18] He is also editor-in-chief of Nature publications. In that role he is responsible for ensuring that the quality and integrity appropriate to the Nature name are maintained, for overseeing editorial policies, and for ensuring that appropriate individuals are appointed as chief editors of Nature journals.

Other work[edit]

Campbell has worked on issues relating to science and its impacts in society with the Office of Science and Innovation in the UK, the European Commission and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. For ten years until 2012, he was a trustee of the charity Cancer Research UK and the chairman of the charity's Public Policy Advisory Group.[19] He was a visiting scholar at Rockefeller University in spring 2008.[20]

Campbell was appointed a member of an independent panel established in February 2010 by the University of East Anglia to investigate the controversy surrounding the publication of emails sent by staff at the university's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Due to publicity about a 2009 interview with Chinese State Radio[21] during which he expressed support for the CRU scientists, he resigned just hours after the panel was launched.[22]

Campbell is chair of the board of trustees of the research-funding charity MQ: Transforming mental health. He is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.

Awards and honours[edit]

Campbell is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (elected in 1979), and of the Institute of Physics (elected in 1995). In 1999 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Leicester,[23] an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Bristol in 2008, and an honorary fellowship of Queen Mary, University of London, in 2009.[10][24] He was also elected a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Knight Bachelor 'for services to Science', and therefore granted the title 'Sir'.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In January 2010 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.[26] He is married to Charis Thompson.


  1. ^ a b c CAMPBELL, Philip Henry Montgomery. Who's Who 2014 (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ Nature Publishing Group - Executive COmmittee - retrieved 13 October 2008 Nature Publishing Group - about the editors - retrieved 23 April 2008
  3. ^ Philip Campbell's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
  4. ^ Campbell, P (2011). "Understanding the receivers and the reception of science's uncertain messages". Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences 369 (1956): 4891–912. Bibcode:2011RSPTA.369.4891C. doi:10.1098/rsta.2011.0068. PMID 22042903. 
  5. ^ Atlas, R; Campbell, P; Cozzarelli, N. R.; Curfman, G; Enquist, L; Fink, G; Flanagin, A; Fletcher, J; George, E; Hammes, G; Heyman, D; Inglesby, T; Kaplan, S; Kennedy, D; Krug, J; Levinson, R; Marcus, E; Metzger, H; Morse, S. S.; O'Brien, A; Onderdonk, A; Poste, G; Renault, B; Rich, R; Rosengard, A; Salzburg, S; Scanlan, M; Shenk, T; Tabor, H; et al. (2003). "Statement on scientific publication and security". Science 299 (5610): 1149. doi:10.1126/science.299.5610.1149. PMID 12595658. 
  6. ^ Greely, H; Sahakian, B; Harris, J; Kessler, R. C.; Gazzaniga, M; Campbell, P; Farah, M. J. (2008). "Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy". Nature 456 (7223): 702–5. doi:10.1038/456702a. PMID 19060880. 
  7. ^ Multidisciplinarity in Climate Change research - a Nature editorial perspective by Philip Campbell on YouTube, SacklerColloquia
  8. ^ Nature's new look: The story behind our redesign by Philip Campbell on YouTube, Nature Video
  9. ^ Interview with Philip Campbell in Nonesuch, the University of Bristol Alumni Magazine, Spring 2008
  10. ^ a b Queen Mary College Council paper on Honorary Degrees and Fellowships - retrieved 23 April 2008
  11. ^ Campbell, Philip (1979). The influence of the ionosphere on low frequency radio wave propagation (PhD thesis). University of Leicester. 
  12. ^ Institute of Physics Profiles: Dr Philip Campbell
  13. ^ Campbell, Philip (2009). "John Maddox 1925-2009". Nature 458 (7240): 807. doi:10.1038/458807a. PMID 19378388. 
  14. ^ Campbell, P (2009). "Maddox by his successor". Nature 458 (7241): 985–6. doi:10.1038/458985a. PMID 19396137. 
  15. ^ Anon (1995). "New editor is appointed at Nature". Nature 375 (6526): 3–3. Bibcode:1995Natur.375....3.. doi:10.1038/375003b0. 
  16. ^ Campbell, P. (1995). "Postscript from a new hand". Nature 378 (6558): 649–649. Bibcode:1995Natur.378..649C. doi:10.1038/378649b0. 
  17. ^ Greene, Mott (2007). "The demise of the lone author: During the editorship of Philip Campbell (1995 onwards), the single author has all but disappeared". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature06243. 
  18. ^ Nature Publishing Group - History of the Journal Nature - retrieved 5 October 2008
  19. ^ Cancer Research UK: How we are governed - retrieved 23 April 2008
  20. ^ Rockefeller news: Visiting scholars - retrieved 15 October 2008
  21. ^
  22. ^ Batty, David and Adam, David. "Climate emails review panellist quits after his impartiality questioned", The Guardian, 12 February 2010; Clarke, Tom. "'Climate-gate' review member resigns", Channel 4 News, 11 February 2010; Climategate e-mails inquiry under way, BBC News, 11 February 2010.
  23. ^ Leicester University press release June 1999 retrieved 23 April 2008
  24. ^ Bristol University Press Release July 2008 - retrieved 5 October 2008
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61256. p. B2. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  26. ^ BBC Radio 3: Private Passions, Philip Campbell
Preceded by
John Maddox
Editor in Chief of Nature