The Reverend Dr John Polkinghorne worked in theoretical elementary particle physics for 25 years and was Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University, 1968-79. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974.
In 1979 Polkinghorne resigned his chair to study for the Anglican priesthood. He was ordained in 1982. After some years in parish life he returned to Cambridge to work on issues in science and theology, a topic on which he has written many books, including his Gifford Lectures, Science and Christian Belief (in the USA, The Faith of a Physicist), his Terry Lectures, Belief in God in an Age of Science, and more recently, The God of Hope and the End of the World.
In 1996 he retired from being President of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and he was knighted in 1997. He has Hon DDs from the Universities of Kent (1994) and Durham (1999) and Hon DScs from the Universities of Exeter (1994) Leicester (1995) and Marquette (2003). He is an Hon Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham (1999) and of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (2002).
In the United Kingdom, Polkinghorne has been the Chairman of several Committees offering advice to Government on ethical and social issues related to new developments in science and technology, for example Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing (1996-1999). In 2002 he was awarded the Templeton Prize. John Polkinghorne was one of the founders of the Society of Ordained Scientists and was the Founding President of the International Society for Science and Religion (2002-2004).