John Cornwell MA Hon DLitt FRSL
Director, Science and Human Dimension Project

John Cornwell

John Cornwell, after 12 years on the editorial staff of The Observer, was in 1990 elected Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Science and Human Dimension Project at Jesus College, Cambridge. In that role he has brought together many scientists, philosophers, ethicists, authors and journalists to debate a range of topics in the field of public understanding of science. His edited books include Nature’s Imagination, Consciousness and Human Identity, and Explanations (Oxford University Press);   Power to Harm, and  Hitler’s Scientists (Viking Penguin); The Philosophers and God ( Bloomsbury Continuum), and Darwin’s Angel (Profile).

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (University of Leicester) in 2011. He was shortlisted Specialist Journalist of the Year (science writing in Sunday Times Magazine), British Press Awards 2006. He won the Science and Medical Network Book of the Year Award for Hitler’s Scientists, 2005; and received the Independent Television Authority-Tablet Award for contributions to religious journalism (1994).

His journalism has been published in a variety of outlets including Financial Times, Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, New Statesman, New Scientist, Nature, Prospect, Times Literary Supplement, The Tablet, Brain, The Guardian, The Times. Broadcast contributions to many BBC programmes, especially on culture, science and religion, including “Hard Talk”, “Choice”, “Start the Week,” “The Moral Maze”, “Today” (debate with Richard Dawkins); “Beyond Belief”, “Thought for the Day”, “Sunday”, and various programmes in the BBC’s World Service.

Science and Human Dimension Project Team

SHDP draws on the skills and experience of a group of experts from a range of backgrounds including:

Jonathan S. Cornwell – Executive Director

Jonathan has a background in publishing and e-learning in Europe, Middle East and China. He is a conference and art exhibitions producer and director of Media Symposia. He is a former director of the Rustat Conferences at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is a graduate of UCL, Cambridge University and Imperial College London.

Dr Tudor Jenkins – Member, SHDP Advisory Board

Tudor is an Artificial Intelligence specialist, digital media expert, app developer, and director of Wide Eyed Vision. He holds a doctorate in AI and Philosophy of Mind from the University of Sussex.

Nathan Brooker – Member, SHDP Advisory Board

Nathan is a writer and journalist at the Financial Times. He has experience producing conferences and writing reports and is a graduate of Cambridge University.


Examples of John Cornwell’s Science Writing and SHDP Outreach

A selection of John Cornwell’s articles in the ambit of public understanding of science through the past decade:

Philosophy of Science: Review Penultimate Curiosity by Andrew Briggs and Roger Wagner Financial Times 29 Jan 2016

Global Warming and Morality   Prospect Magazine 19 June 2015

Secularism, Religion and Violence: Review Fields of Blood by Karen Armstrong   Financial Times 26 Sept 2014

The Reel of Consciousness   Brain   11 Sept 2013

Ethics and Neuroscience:   Brain   19 April 2012

Between Reason and the Wet Stuff   Literary Review   February 2011

Alasdair MacIntyre Interview: On Moral Philosophy and Banking   Prospect Magazine 20 Oct 2010

Decoding Darwin   Literary Review Oct 2009

Drugs that Don’t Work:   Meta-analyses on Prozac  Prospect Magazine   23 Sept 2009

Interview Steve Jones: On Nature and Nurture   Prospect Magazine  1 March 2009

How Science Discovered the Mystery of Ourselves   Literary Review  March 2009

A Dig at Ditchkins:   On Terry Eagleton and Dawkins  Literary Review  May 2009

Plastic Fantastic: The Brain that Changes Itself   Literary Review  Sept 2008

Alcoholism and Detoxing  Sunday Times   5 Oct 2008

Descent and Dissent: On Intelligent Design   Literary Review   Oct 2008

Bounded in a Nutshell:   Review Kingdom of Infinite Space by Raymond Tallis   Literary Review June 2008

Symbolic Language: On Steven Pinker  Prospect Magazine   Oct 27 2007

Science and the Media  Brain   15 Dec 2007

The Importance of Doubt   Guardian  Aug 30 2007

A Question of Respect: Review God Delusion by Richard Dawkins Sunday Times  1 Oct 2006

Who Do We Think We Are: On Genetics and Race   Sunday Times  8 Oct 2006

Brain and Bad Behaviour   Brain   27 Nov 2006

A Christmas Thunderbolt for the  Scientific Arch Enemy of Religion: On Dawkins and Atheism   Sunday Times   24 Dec 2006

Don’t Be Deluded: On a Cancer Breakthrough   Sunday Times   3 Sept 2006

Slaves to American Medicine: On the Tuskagee experiment   Sunday Times  10 Sept 2006

A Head for Trouble: Are we hard-wired to be bad?   Sunday Times  9 Jul 2006

Journey through the Topic of Cancer   Sunday Times   Jun 25  2006

Taking on String Theory: Physicists’ establishment  Sunday Times   11 Jun 2006

Hormones and theories of Romantic Love  Sunday Times  12 Feb 2006

Face of things to Come: Face transplants   Sunday Times   11 Dec 2005

What Tickles our Fancy: New research on bonding   Sunday Times   6 Nov 2005

Between Heaven and Earth: Review of The Planets by Dava Sobel  Sunday Times 28 Aug 2005

How the War Can Be Won: Latest cancer treatment research    Sunday Times  19 June 2005

Stardust Memories: On Fred Hoyle   Sunday Times   22 May 2005

Drugs and Determinism: Review of The 21st Century Brain by Steven Rose  Sunday Times 27 Feb 2005

The Hand: Review Raymond Tallis trilogy on the Mind-Brain  Brain   21 January 2005

Please also see the archive of previous SHDP conferences.