About Paul Davies




Paul Davies
Paul Davies in 2016. Photo credit: Christopher Michel. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

By profession, I am a theoretical physicist who has worked for much of my career in astrophysics and cosmology, with emphasis on the origin and very early stages of the universe, the quantum properties of black holes and the nature of time.

I am also interested in the nature and origin of life and the possibility of life – including intelligent life – beyond Earth, which extends to complex systems generally. These twin interests inevitably lead me into areas where physics and biology overlap.

In recent years I have also become involved in research on the origin of cancer and its deep evolutionary roots, a subject with important implications for therapy.

My main approach to research is to explore the proverbial ‘big questions’ of existence, from what happened before the big bang, to whether or not we are alone in the universe. These are questions of interest to philosophers and even theologians too. 


Professional appointments

Professional organizations

Awards and honors

  • Regents' Professor at Arizona State University (2012)
  • Robinson Cosmology Prize (2011)
  • Fellowship of University College London (2011)
  • Bicentenary Medal of Chile (2011)
  • Klumpke-Roberts Prize, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (2011)
  • DSc honoris causa, Chapman University, California (2009)
  • Member of the Order of Australia (2007)
  • DSc honoris causa, Macquarie University, Sydney (2006)
  • Trotter Prize, Texas A & M University (2004)
  • Wilbur Award for religious-themed media, USA (2004)
  • Most Beautiful Export Award, Australia (2003)
  • J.K. Russell Fellowship, CTNS, Berkeley (2003)
  • American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award (2003)
  • Michael Faraday Award, The Royal Society (2002)
  • Nomination, Australian of the Year (2002)
  • Kelvin Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics, UK (2001)
  • Asteroid 1992 OG renamed, "(6870) Pauldavies" (1999)
  • The Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (1995)
  • Templeton - CTNS Book Prize (1995)
  • Advance Australia Award for outstanding contributions to science (1993)
  • Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science (Australia) (1992)
  • Eureka Book Prize (Australia) (1991)
  • Glaxo Science Writers Fellowship (UK) (1983)