Philip Campbell (scientist)

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Sir Philip Campbell

Philip Campbell World Economic Forum 2013.jpg
Philip Campbell speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013
Philip Henry Montgomery Campbell

(1951-04-19) 19 April 1951 (age 68)[1]
EducationShrewsbury School[1]
Alma mater
Known forEditor-in-Chief of Nature[2]
Charis Thompson (m. 2014)
Scientific career
Science policy
ThesisThe influence of the ionosphere on low frequency radio wave propagation (1979)
Doctoral advisorTudor Jones[3]

Sir Philip Henry Montgomery Campbell FRAS FInstP[4] (born 19 April 1951)[1] is a British astrophysicist. He served as editor-in-chief[2] of the peer reviewed scientific journal Nature from 1995 to 2018.[5][2][6][7][8] He is the Editor-in-Chief of the publishing company Springer Nature.

Early life and education[edit]

Campbell was born on 19 April 1951 and educated at Shrewsbury School.[1] He 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) degree in astrophysics at Queen Mary College, University of London[10] before doing his PhD in upper atmospheric physics at the University of Leicester supervised by Tudor Jones while collaborating with the Royal Aircraft Establishment.[3] 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.[4][11]


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.[12][13][14][15] In that role, he headed a team of about 90 editorial staff around the world.[16] He took direct editorial responsibility for the content of Nature's editorials, writing some of them. He was the seventh editor-in-chief since the journal was launched in 1869.[17] He was also editor-in-chief of Nature publications.[citation needed] In that role he was 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. He was succeeded by Magdalena Skipper in his role as editor-in-chief in 2018.[5]

In the role of Editor-in-Chief of Springer Nature, Campbell is responsible for the oversight of editorial policies and standards across the company, for external engagement, and for stimulating new strands of content across the company's brands and across research disciplines.

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.[18] He was a visiting scholar at Rockefeller University in spring 2008.[19]

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[20] during which he expressed support for the CRU scientists, he resigned just hours after the panel was launched.[21]

Campbell was a founding member and, from 2015 to 2019, chair of the board of trustees of the research-funding charity MQ: Transforming mental health.[22] He was a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.[23]

As well as editing, Campbell has co-authored several publications on science policy[23][24][25][26][27] and the impact factor.[28][29]

Awards and honours[edit]

Campbell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS)[4] in 1979[citation needed] and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) in 1995.[citation needed] In 1999 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Leicester,[30] 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][31] He was also elected an Honorary Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge.[23]

In the 2015 Birthday Honours, he was appointed Knight Bachelor for services to Science.[32][33] He has been an Honorary Professor Peking Union Medical College since 2009.[citation needed] In 2019 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of British Science Writers.

Personal life[edit]

In January 2010 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.[34] He married the academic Charis Thompson in 2014.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Anon (2007). "CAMPBELL, Philip Henry Montgomery". Who's Who. (online edition via Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.10051. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Henchley, Alice (2017). "Sir Philip Campbell to move to newly created role within Springer Nature". Archived from the original on 2018-03-02.
  3. ^ a b Campbell, Philip Henry Montgomery (1979). The influence of the ionosphere on low frequency radio wave propagation. (PhD thesis). University of Leicester. hdl:2381/35851. OCLC 504739246. EThOS Free to read
  4. ^ a b c Institute of Physics. "Dr Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b Else, Holly (2018). "Nature announces new editor-in-chief". Nature. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05060-w. ISSN 0028-0836.
  6. ^ "About the editors". Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  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[permanent dead link], retrieved 23 April 2008
  11. ^ "Philip Campbell". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  12. ^ Campbell, Philip (2009). "John Maddox 1925-2009". Nature. 458 (7240): 807. doi:10.1038/458807a. PMID 19378388.
  13. ^ Campbell, Philip (2009). "Maddox by his successor". Nature. 458 (7241): 985–6. doi:10.1038/458985a. PMID 19396137.
  14. ^ Anon (1995). "New editor is appointed at Nature". Nature. 375 (6526): 3. Bibcode:1995Natur.375....3.. doi:10.1038/375003b0.
  15. ^ Campbell, Philip (1995). "Postscript from a new hand". Nature. 378 (6558): 649. Bibcode:1995Natur.378..649C. doi:10.1038/378649b0.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "homepage : History of the Journal Nature". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 20, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Exclusive Interview with Dr. Philip Campbell". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "Sir Philip Campbell, PhD - Chair". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  23. ^ a b c Anon (2012). "Sir Philip Campbell". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-03-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  24. ^ Philip Campbell publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  25. ^ Campbell, Philip (2011). "Understanding the receivers and the reception of science's uncertain messages". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 369 (1956): 4891–912. Bibcode:2011RSPTA.369.4891C. doi:10.1098/rsta.2011.0068. PMID 22042903. Free to read
  26. ^ Atlas, R; Campbell, P; Cozzarelli, N. R.; Curfman, G; Enquist, L; Fink, G; Flanagin, A; Fletcher, J; George, E; Hammes, G; Heyman, D; et al. (2003). "Statement on scientific publication and security". Science. 299 (5610): 1149. doi:10.1126/science.299.5610.1149. PMID 12595658.
  27. ^ 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. Bibcode:2008Natur.456..702G. doi:10.1038/456702a. PMID 19060880.
  28. ^ Wilsdon, James; et al. (2015). The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management. Higher Education Funding Council for England. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.4929.1363. ISBN 9781473973060. OCLC 1002030907.
  29. ^ Campbell, Philip (2008). "Escape from the impact factor". Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics. 8: 5–7. doi:10.3354/esep00078. ISSN 1863-5415.
  30. ^ "Administration: Nature Editor to receive University Honour". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  31. ^ "Bristol University - News - 2008: Honorary degrees". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  32. ^ Anon (2015) "No. 61256". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2015. p. B2.
  33. ^ Cressey, Daniel (2015). "Nature's editor knighted for services to science". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2015.17757.
  34. ^ "BBC Radio 3 - Private Passions, Philip Campbell". BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
Preceded by
John Maddox (1980-1995)
Editor in Chief of Nature
Succeeded by
Magdalena Skipper (2018-)