About me

I am Scottish and began my work in science by getting a degree in Biochemistry from the University of St Andrews. I then spent a year as a volunteer in the Sudan working as an actor on their English language TV channel. The experience convinced me that I should pursue a career as an actor, but on returning to the UK I compromised and combined registering for a doctorate in Neuroendocrinology at Oxford with trying to enter the acting profession through the Oxford University Dramatic Society. After a year I realized that my prospects were probably better within science and I went on to get my doctorate and become a lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Kent in 1977

Gradually I began to develop a side line as a science communicator and in 1996 I moved to Bristol where I founded  the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England. In 2000 I was approached to advise on the development of a Science Festival in Cheltenham and became its founding co-director with Kathy Sykes in 2002, the same year as I was appointed the first Professor of Science Communication in the UK.

Since establishing the Frank Burnet Consultancy at the beginning of 2009 I have worked in countries as varied as Saudi Arabia, where I have been lead consultant for the creation of an annual National Science Festival and Finland where I am a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi.

Wherever I work my commitment is to do what I can to build bridges between science and society.

Career Landmarks

1970 – BSc Hons (First Class) Biochemistry, St Andrews University

1971 –  Best Freshman Actor, Oxford

1971 – Played Chief Bromden in British Premiere of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in Oxford and London

1973 –  Postgraduate Scholarship, Wolfson College, Oxford

1975 –  Doctorate in Neuroendocrinology, Oxford

1988 – Media Fellowship, The Royal Society of London

1999 –Von Liebig Memorial Medal, Royal Society of Medicine

1999 – Millenium Fellow, Millennium Commission

2000 – MBE, Queens Birthday Honours List for “Services to Science Communication”

2002 -Founding Director, Cheltenham Science Festival

2002 – First Professor of Science Communication in UK, University of West of England

2006 – International Director Cheltenham Science Festival

2008 – Emeritus Professor of Science Communication, University of West of England

2 Responses to “About me”

  1. Thank you mr frank for your response about the comic. It is indeed very useful. Do you have a private email i can send to you?


  2. […] Make it replicable. “Repeat performance is promoted by simplicity,” said science communicator Frank Burnet in a presentation at CUNY Graduate Center on Friday about his work over the past several […]

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