Mathematican; Cosmologist; Science adviser and administrator
Developed 'steady state' theory for the origin of the universe, originally proposed by Sir James Jeans in 1920, with Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle; general relativity; report on flooding of London led to Thames Barrier
Realgymnasium, Vienna; encouraged by Sir Arthur Eddington to apply in 1937 to Trinity College, Cambridge
Interned and sent to Canada (1940) where on his first night he met his future lifelong friend Thomas Gold, another Viennese Jew studying at Trinity; returned (1942) to work in the Admiralty with Fred Hoyle, the astrophysicist, on the refinement of radar technique; Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge (1943-1949, 1952-1954); Assistant Lecturer in Mathemetics, Cambridge University (1945-1948); University Lecturer (1948-1954), Professor of Mathematics (1954-1971), revised his opinion on steady state theory following discovery of microwave background radiation by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson which suggested Big Bang theory more likely explanation; Fellow (1968), Titular Professor (1971-1985) (Emeritus), King's College London; Director-General, European Space Research Organisation (1967-1971); Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Defence (1971-1977); Chief Scientist, Department of Energy (1977-1980); Chariman and Chief Executive, NERC (1980-1984); Master, Churchill College, Cambridge (1983-1990), Fellow (1990-2005); President, Hydrographic Society (1985-1987); President, Society for Research into Higher Education (1981-1997); President; British Association of Science Writers (1981-1985); President of the British Humanist Association (1982-1990); President Rationalist Press Association (from 1982); winner of Einstein Gold Medal (1983); Decoration of Honour for Science and Art, Austria (1997); Gold Medal, Royal Astronomical Society (2001); honorary doctorates from the universities of Sussex, Bath, Surrey, York, Southampton, Salford, Birmingham, St Andrews, Portsmouth and Vienna.
Obituary in 'The Independent' (12 September 2005); 'The Telegraph' (13 September 2005); 'The Times' (13 September 2005), 'The Guardian' (13 September 2005)
Biographical Memoir by I W Roxburgh in Volume 53 (2007) pp 45-62
N Calver and M Parker ' The logic of scientific Unity? Medawar, the Royal Society and the Rothschild controversy 1971-2.' In Notes and Records, Vol 70, Issue 1, March 2016 pp 83-100