Purpose

A philosopher of physics, Harvey R. Brown, FBA, is professor of philosophy at Oxford University and a fellow of Oxford’s Wolfson College. His research interests include the foundations of quantum mechanics, relativity theory and thermal physics, the philosophy of space and time, and the role of symmetry principles in physics. He was educated at St. Bede’s College in Christchurch, New Zealand, earned a bachelor of science degree with first-class honors in physics at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), and took his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science at what is now King’s College London in 1978. For the next six years he served as an assistant professor of philosophy at São Paulo State University at Campinas in Brazil. Dr. Brown was appointed a lecturer in the philosophy of physics at Oxford in 1984 and named a full professor in 2006. A fellow of the British Academy, he is co-winner of the 2006 Lakos Award in Philosophy of Science. He has been a Visiting Erskine Fellow and a Visiting Oxford Fellow at the University of Canterbury, as well as a long-term visitor to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His research on the foundations of quantum physics has been supported by a Leverhulme Trust Institute Award, and he has been the recipient of a Radcliffe Research Fellowship in Philosophy. Dr. Brown is a past president of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science. The former secretary of the journal Cadernos de História e Filosofia da Ciência (Brazil), he is a member of the editorial advisory boards of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Principia (Brazil), and Physics in Perspective. He has published more than fifty papers in academic journals, is the editor of two books, (with H. R. Harré) Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory (1988) and (with Simon Saunders) The Philosophy of Vacuum (1991), and the author of two others: Albert Einstein: A Simple Man of Vision (1984) and Physical Relativity: Space-time Structure from a Dynamical Perspective, a book published in 2005 by Oxford University Press that considers the explanatory role of the geometry of spacetime from a critical perspective.