back to article Brian May going for astronomy PhD

Proving that it does take brains to play in magnificent rock bands, Queen guitarist Brian May is to submit his doctoral thesis this week. What is the subject you ask? Why, the formation of zodiacal dust clouds, of course. Although we cannot imagine why anyone would chose a life of big-haired Rock'n'Roll glamour over dusty …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also featured in today's "User Friendly"

    The hirsuite plank-shredder also gets a mention in today's "User Friendly" cartoon ...

    The last frame in particular made me laugh :-)

  2. Geoff Gale

    Renaissance Man

    Mr. May certainly has a drive to excel in whatever he undertakes. Good to see that sort of thing in a public figure.

  3. Paul Martin

    Makes the rockin' world go round...

    Iliad has a comment:

  4. Mark

    I wonder

    Wasn't 1970s astronomy a little basic compared to today? One wonders whether any of his data and observations from that period would carry much weight, and whether he's had to redo his thesis from scratch. Besides, I bet he couldn't find a machine to take any wordprocessor disks from Back In The Day....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doctor May

    If his scientific abilities match his taste in music and hair, I'm not surprised that his thesis has taken 36 years.

  6. Dillon Pyron

    You're late

    I read about that in June. I guess I need to get back to work on my PhD.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought...

    I thought he already had a PhD in Astrophysics, or was that a Masters?

    Also I believe a lot of the time at Queen hosted parties was spent studying the pulling together of dust, ahem... Probably better not go on here as it's almost certainly liable...

    I do seem to remember something (probably an urban myth) about dwafs with silver tea trays at club 54 though.

  8. Alex

    Still relevant....

    He did a three year undergrad physics at Imperial (BSc), and started his PhD before running away to play music.

    His topic is still relevant, and I believe no one has done any new work in his specific area of zoadical dust clouds since he quit. I expect the theories he is working on have been refined, but since he can continue his PhD, they have not undergone any radical shift. I wouldn't know about wordprocessor disks, but I'm sure something could be found.

    (Imperial undergrad physicist)

  9. Matt Thornton

    Good on him

    Having done a PhD myself and gone through the hassle (and, funnily enough, been presented with an opportunity to ditch it for a band, which I didn't) I'm pleased he got back to it and actually did the work to earn his PhD (assuming he passes his viva, of course).

    It narks me no end to see people handed honorary PhDs for doing bugger all.

    I guess things could have been different if I had have chucked it all in...

  10. Ishkandar


    If you look into the biographies of the individual original members of that band, you'll find that they are ALL far more highly educated than the average pop band members. One ability does NOT exclude the other. Not all pop band members communicate in grunts !!

  11. Morely Dotes

    And you did what, again?

    @ Bert Ragnarok: Oddly, I can't recall the title of a single work published under your name in either the musical field *or* scientific endeavours.

    Could it be that you're just a wanker who's jealous of those who are either creative or intelligent?

    I suspect "Fat Bottomed Girls" will live on long after "Bert Ragnarok" has crumbled to dust and is forgotten by everyone except the landlords he's stiffed by becoming a stiff.

  12. Iain Argent

    Rise of the Machines

    He also composed the music to "Rise of the Robots". Is there a dark agenda here? I think we should be told!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I suspect "Fat Bottomed Girls" will live on long after "Bert Ragnarok" has crumbled to dust and is forgotten by everyone except the landlords he's stiffed by becoming a stiff."

    Of all the people to become psychotic over, Brian May? Brian May?

  14. Andrew Smith

    hard work

    At least he's working hard for it and not just been given it.

    I hate ceremonies where they give away a PhD to someone famous. The work needed for a PhD is huge, whereas been famous on TV seems quite easy nowadays.

    Good on him for the hard work.

  15. Rich

    Accomplishments of rock stars

    Blur drummer Dave Rowntree wrote a device driver for the Linux kernel.

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