Clifford Johnson

Professor Clifford Johnson

Scientist, writer and science communicator

Born in London and raised for 10 years in the Caribbean, he studied Physics at Imperial, graduating in 1989, and completed his PhD in Physics at Southampton University in 1992.

Professor Johnson works mainly on superstring theory, quantum gravity, gauge theory, and M-theory, studying objects such as black holes and D-branes. In 2005, he was awarded the Institute of Physics’ Maxwell Medal and Prize, and in 2016 a Simons Fellowship, for his work on string theory and quantum gravity. He has also been listed in the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education as the most highly cited Black Professor of mathematics at an American university or college.

In 2018 he won the Klopsteg memorial award by the American Association of Physics Teachers for his outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public. Professor Clifford has appeared on many TV documentaries, and was a regular on The Universe – the longest-running TV show about physics and astronomy. He has been science advisor for many feature films and TV dramas.

He wrote and drew the recently published non-fiction graphic novel “The Dialogues: Conversations about the nature of the universe” (MIT Press). He is currently a professor in the Physics and Astronomy department at the University of Southern California.