Dr Allan Chapman
Allan Chapman was born in Swinton, Lancashire. Having attended the local Cromwell Road Secondary Modern School for Boys he gained his first degree from the University of Lancaster. Subsequently he undertook a history of science DPhil at Wadham College, Oxford.
He is a historian by training and his special interests are astronomy and scientific biography.
Chapman has been based at Oxford University for most of his career, as a member of the Faculty of History, based at Wadham College. He is an accomplished lecturer and public speaker (including as visiting professor at Gresham College in London). In January 1994, he delivered the Royal Society history of science Wilkins Lecture, on the subject of Edmund Halley.
He is also a television presenter, notably Gods in the Sky, covering astronomical religion in early civilizations, and Great Scientists, presenting the lives of five of the greatest thinkers. Not averse to other forms of television, he also participated in the TV quiz University Challenge — The Professionals as part of the Royal Astronomical Society team.
He has written many books including biographies such as England's Leonardo on Robert Hooke.
Chapman is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is a founder member and president of the Society for the History of Astronomy (SHA). He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Central Lancashire in 2004. He is the Honorary President and a member of Salford Astronomical Society, Honorary President of Reading Astronomical Society, Honorary President and Patron of the Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society, Honorary President of Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich) and Vice-President of the Newbury Astronomical Society.