Professor Neil Turok (Chair) is the Higgs Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, at the School of Physics and Astronomy.
Prof Neil is a former Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and former Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University. He is also the Founder of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and Chair of the AIMS International Governing Board (IGB) and present Chair of the AIMS South Africa Council.
Born in South Africa, Neil Turok founded the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), a pan-African network of centres for education and research in 2003. AIMS was the subject of a TED talk for which Turok received the TED prize in 2008. “My wish is that you help us unlock and nurture scientific talent across Africa, so that within our lifetimes we are celebrating an African Einstein.”
Turok has also been recognised with awards from the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE) and the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE). He is one of the world’s leading physicists, and a renowned educational innovator. He is currently the director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and holder of the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Niels Bohr Chair at the institute. He was a professor of physics at Princeton and held a Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge. With Stephen Hawking, he developed the Hawking-Turok instanton solutions describing the birth of inflationary universes. He is the co-author, with Paul J. Steinhardt, of the critically acclaimed book Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang – Rewriting Cosmic History. Turok was awarded the 1992 James Clerk Maxwell medal of the UK Institute of Physics.