Fred Hoyle An observer of the world and a ponderer on its problems ...

1915 to 2001

Sir Fred Hoyle is renowned as one of the twentieth century's great scientific thinkers, who was not afraid to question orthodox beliefs.

Hoyle was born in Gilstead, Bingley West Yorkshire in 1915 into a close family community. His parents nurtured his enquiring mind and they introduced him to his lifelong interests of music, chess, cricket and fell walking.

Hoyle was not only an incredibly creative scientist, he was also a leading academic. He was Plumian Professor at Cambridge 1957 – 1972 and founder director of the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in Cambridge 1967-1972.

He served very effectively on the Science Research Council and was one of the major players in the planning and construction of the Anglo-Australian telescope.

Hoyle also found time to write popular science and science fiction books, as well as plays, television stories and an opera. His broadcasts, talks and lectures have entertained and inspired many.

This website is a dedication to his life and work.

The intention is to expand the site on a continuous basis to include additional material and personal recollections.

  • Hoyle State

  • How was the Universe created?

  • A big bang?

  • Where did life begin?

  • Well, when you look at economics, it's like a ship without a rudder - out of control, with all sorts of people rushing to snatch at the tiller. I mean politicians, economists and soothsayers generally. Yet the thing is like a greasy pole. Nobody seems able to come to grips with it.

  • Is the Universe running down?

  • What is the fate of the Earth?

  • Is it possible for an atomic explosion to set off a nuclear reaction all over the Earth and make it into an exploding star?

  • Is there life present on other planets?

  • When solving a problem there is no requirement to be right.

  • A passer by sees someone searching around under a lamp post.

    The passer by asks what they are doing.

    ‘I am looking for my key’

    They started searching again. After a while the passer by asks ‘Are you sure you lost it here?’

    ‘Not at all but unless I lost it here I will never find it’, replies the person under the lamp post.

Private, scientific papers and effects collected by his wife Barbara are in the
Special Collections at St John's College Library, Cambridge.
To view an online exhibition
click here.
Other links of interest can be found
here .