Professor Peter Barham

Professor Peter Barham

Professor of Physics at Bristol University UK, honorary Professor of Molecular Gastronomy in the Life Sciences faculty of the University of Copenhagen and honorary Research Associate at the Animal Demography Unit in Zoology at the University of Cape Town

Peter Barham is a Professor of Physics at Bristol University UK, honorary Professor of Molecular Gastronomy in the Life Sciences faculty of the University of Copenhagen and honorary Research Associate at the Animal Demography Unit in Zoology at the University of Cape Town. In Bristol, as well as carrying out his own research in fundamental Polymer Physics and in the conservation of penguins, he is involved in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching and a range of adminstrative tasks. In Copenhagen, he is helping to create research and teaching activities in the new and emerging area of molecular gastronomy (the application of physical, biological and medical sciences to understanding our appreciation of food as prepared in the home and high-quality restaurants). In Cape Town he is involved with a group trying to save the  endangered African penguins.

In addition, Peter is very interested in raising the public awareness of science and its relevance to everyday life. In 2003 he was awarded the 2003 Kelvin Medal by the Institute of Physics for his contributions to the promotion of the public awareness of science.

Peter Barham 's interest in the science of food has led him to meet many professional chefs and food writers with whom he has collaborated on several projects; for example, in 1997 he won the Sci-Art Prize jointly with the artist, writer and broadcaster, Leslie Forbes. In 1999 he was awarded the Institute of Physics Prize for the Promotion of Public Awareness of Physics. He has also appeared in numerous radio and television programs and is a regular contributor to the Guardian in both the food and science sections. Peter’s book The Science of Cooking, published in 2001 by Springer, is not only popular with the general public, but is also used as a text in many catering colleges.

In the last few years, Peter has been collaborating with a number of chefs (notably Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck) to bring science more closely into the kitchen, both at home and in the restaurant.