By Paul Davies on
A truly great scientist not only makes significant technical contributions but also reshapes a discipline’s conceptual landscape through a commanding depth and breadth of vision. Theoretical physicist John D. Barrow, who passed away on September 26 at the age of 67, was one such individual. Barrow’s career spanned the golden age of cosmology, in which the subject was transformed from a scientific backwater to a mainstream precision science. He was both a player and a commentator in these heady times, producing several hundred research papers and scholarly articles, as well as a string of expository books, each a model of wit and clarity that made him a public intellectual worldwide.