Simon Mitton

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Simon Mitton
Simon Anthony Mitton 13-04-11.JPG
Simon Mitton, Parc Phoenix Nice France 2013
Born (1946-12-18)18 December 1946
Bristol, England
Residence UK
Nationality British
Fields Astronomer
Institutions University of Cambridge
Alma mater Trinity College, Oxford
St. Edmund's College, Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Sir Martin Ryle

Simon Mitton (born 1946) is an astronomer and writer. He is based at St Edmund's College, Cambridge. He has written numerous astronomical works.[1][2][3] The most well known of these is his biography of fellow Cambridge astronomer Fred Hoyle.[4]


Elected to Council of the Royal Astronomical Society 2012–2016, and chairman of the RAS library committee. Mitton is a College Fellow[5] of the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge.[6]

He is a founder Director of Total Astronomy Limited,[7] a company based in Cambridge that provides media services for the astronomy and space industries.

Earlier in his career, while employed by the Cambridge University Press, he was the editor in question when "Stephen Hawking famously put the success of his bestseller A Brief History of Time down to advice from his editor that for every equation in the book the readership would be halved. As a result the book included only a single equation, E = mc2." [8]

Jointly with Jacqueline Mitton, he occasionally gives astronomy lectures on cruise ships. Recent assignments were with Fred. Olsen and Cunard.

He stood as the Conservative Party candidate for Castle ward in the Cambridge City Council election, 2015,[9] finishing in third place with 22.6% of the vote.[10]


Simon Mitton studied physics and astrophysics. His undergraduate studies were at the Clarendon Laboratory and Trinity College, Oxford. For his doctoral research in high-energy astrophysics he studied at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, under Nobel Laureate Sir Martin Ryle FRS. His postdoctoral career started under Sir Fred Hoyle FRS at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge.


Recently his principal research project has been in the history of astronomy, now his academic field. He has completed a large biography of the British cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle (1915–2001), published in April 2005, and reissued in 2011.



Named after him


  1. ^ The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy, 1978.
  2. ^ Exploring the Galaxies, 1974
  3. ^ Cambridge Scientific Minds 2000
  4. ^ "Fred Hoyle a life in Science, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2011
  5. ^
  6. ^ ""
  7. ^
  8. ^ Review of 'The Quantum Universe: Everything that can happen does happen.' by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.[Hannah Devlin, Science Correspondent, The Times, October 31, 2011]
  9. ^
  10. ^