Chris Lintott appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy

Professor Chris Lintott

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Chris Lintott as the 39th Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College.

Professor Lintott is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford, and their Citizen Science Lead. He leads a citizen science project called Zooniverse, which has more than two million registered global volunteers who take part in its projects. He is presenter of the BBC’s long-running The Sky at Night, and writes frequently for the Times and the London Review of Books. He is also a lead editor for the prestigious Astrophysical Journal.

Lintott’s lectures will incorporate breaking news and new discoveries, and – thanks to the Zooniverse platform – will include opportunities for the audience to contribute to the science they are hearing about.  

Professor Lintott said: “I’m thrilled to be appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy, following in the footsteps of Martin Rees, Colin Pillinger and my immediate predecessor, Katherine Blundell. 

“I want to use the lectures to share what is becoming a golden age of astronomy with as many people as possible, both in person and online. 

“Each lecture will include the latest observations from our fabulous new telescopes, and together we will explore how our understanding of the Universe is changing. Contemplating the cosmos is good for you – as I hope I can demonstrate!”

Professor Martin Elliott, Provost of Gresham College, said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Chris Lintott as the 39th Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, succeeding Professor Katherine Blundell. Chris fought off a brilliant field to get the job, demonstrating the wonderful communication skills which have made him such a popular presenter of The Sky at Night on the BBC.

“An established, widely published and prize-winning academic with a background in astrophysics, he is also committed to citizen science which he carries out through the Galaxy Zoo and Zooniverse projects. We are privileged to have him join us and I have no doubt our audiences are in for a treat.” 

In 2023-4 Professor Lintott will speak about Discovering the Universe:
This series tells the story of our cosmos through exploring six fundamental discoveries: that of galaxies beyond our own, via probes sent to reveal the remarkably diverse wonders of our Solar System from the fountains of Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus to Earth’s hellish twin, Venus, of the sudden appearance of interstellar visitors, the strange pulses received by the first radio telescopes and the twinkling of a star that misbehaved, and the revelation of detecting the oldest light of all. Together, these discoveries take us to the forefront of modern astronomy, and to the state-of-the-art in our understanding of the cosmos. 

Tickets and online registration open in August when our full 2023-24 programme is published.