Professor Richard Jones

Professor of Physics at University of Sheffield

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Professor of Physics, University of Sheffield

Richard is a physicist, with a BA and PhD from Cambridge University. Following postdoctoral work at Cornell University, he was an assistant lecturer, then lecturer, at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory. He moved to Sheffield as a Professor of Physics in 1998, and was Head of Department from 1999-2003. From 2009 to 2016 he was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, with overall responsibility for all aspects of research, innovation and knowledge exchange across the University of Sheffield.

His work has focused on experimental studies of the nanoscale structure and properties of polymers and biological macromolecules at interfaces. He is the author of more than 120 research papers, and three books, the most recent of which is Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life, published by OUP in 2004. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006.

He has had a long-standing interest in public engagement and the broader societal dimensions of nanotechnology; he was the co-author, with Stephen Wood, of a report published by the UK´s Economic and Social Research Council, The Social and Economic Challenges of Nanotechnology (2003). He chaired the Nanotechnology Engagement Group, a body set up by UK Government to support the development of best practice in public engagement around nanotechnologies, and to ensure that public engagement feeds into policy and decision-making, and from 2007 to 2009 was the Senior Strategic Advisor for Nanotechnology for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

  • 13 November 2017, 4:30pm

    Science and the future of Democracy

    The Cambridge Institute for Public Policy, the Centre for Science and Policy, and Churchill College are working together to launch a new programme on science and the future of democracy.

  • 14 February 2017, 12:45pm

    Devolution and inclusive economic growth (Manchester)

    Devolution offers new opportunities for inclusive economic growth. This workshop will bring together academics from the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester with policy professionals from local government to explore working together in city areas to enhance economic opportunities across the population.

  • In news articles

    Testing times for evidence and expertise: what lies ahead for science and innovation?

    Will political events of 2016 provoke a fundamental rethink of the role of institutions at the intersection of science, innovation, expertise, politics and power?