Sir John Kingman FRS was the third director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, serving from October 2001 to September 2006. During that period he was the first N.M. Rothschild & Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences.
Sir John works on the theory and applications of probability and stochastic analysis, including operational research and population genetics. He has written five books and about a hundred papers on these and related areas of mathematics. He has been President of the Royal Statistical Society, the London Mathematical Society and the European Mathematical Society. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1971, and received its Royal Medal in 1983. He is also Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.
He gained his degrees at Cambridge, as a scholar and later Fellow and Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College. After teaching in Cambridge he became a professor at Sussex in 1966 and then at Oxford in 1969. From 1981 he was Chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), before becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, a post he held from 1985 to 2001. In 2000 he set up the Statistics Commission, to oversee the quality of official statistics in the UK, and was its Chairman until 2003.
Sir John is married with two children, one a senior civil servant and the other a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. His wife Valerie Cromwell was Director of the History of Parliament from 1991 to 2001. He has served on a wide range of national and international bodies, including the British Council, the British Technology Group, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and the boards of IBM UK and SmithKlineBeecham. In 1988 he chaired the committee which produced the government report on the teaching of the English language.
His knighthood came in 1985 for his work with the SERC, and he holds honorary degrees from English, Russian and Canadian universities. He is Officier dans lOrdre des Palmes Académiques, and an Honorary Senator of the University of Hannover.