Home Musicians and Scientists Look up to the skies, and see! Brian May back to physics

Look up to the skies, and see! Brian May back to physics

by Eva Amsen

Did you know that Brian May quit his PhD in astrophysics to tour with Queen? In 1969 he was in the advanced thesis writing stage when he gave up the galaxy stars for rock stars.

Of course, playing in a world famous rock band is a reasonable excuse to quit your degree, and I’m sure nobody would have minded at all if he had left it at that. It’s not as if he ended up unemployed or underpaid.

But May decided to pick up where he left off, and is now finishing his thesis! Rock on! That’s not all: he also co-authored a book about astronomy called “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe“.

And what have you done lately?


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Shelley January 18, 2007 - 3:29 AM

I wonder how much he has to backtrack in his work? I imagine a lot of new information has come up since he started. Anyway, this is all very cool.

Ruud January 18, 2007 - 3:13 AM

Cool! That makes him a colleague of mine, even though he’s in a different field of astronomy than I am.

eliane January 18, 2007 - 2:33 PM

What have I done? I tagged you, baby.

Eva January 18, 2007 - 9:57 AM

Shelley, the New Scientist interview asked the same question, and it turned out that his topic was suddenly relevant again thanks to some more recent developments in the field. It was actually more important now than back then. So he just has ALL the luck! I assume he did need to catch up on 30-odd years of literature research, but he seemed to have been doing some reading in his spare time anyway.

Sciencesque January 18, 2007 - 9:16 PM

I just finished watching Brian May and Roger Taylor on a Canadian TV show called “The Hour”. The host of the show said that Brian actually had his PhD. Maybe he successfully defended his thesis since the New Scientist article was written?

My Biotech Life » Rock stars go to school! January 18, 2007 - 4:27 PM

[…] For example, I recently found out (via Easternblot) that Brian May, lead guitarist from Queen, gave up on his PhD to go on tour in 1969. A good idea, I would say. […]

Shelley January 18, 2007 - 11:26 PM

The story gets even cooler! I should read the New Scientist article, but our access at work sucks (one month embargo, bah).

Eva January 18, 2007 - 9:44 PM

Maybe! But while researching I found out that he also holds an honorary doctorate (the kind famous people just get for fun and giggles) so the host might have referred to that.
(I know the name of the host of The Hour, but I’m not going to try and spell it…)

Maria January 19, 2007 - 12:00 PM

I don’t like George Strombolopolous at all.

Comments are closed.