James J. Binney
Binney in 2013
Born (1950-04-12) 12 April 1950 (age 74)
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA)
University of Oxford (DPhil)
Known forTheoretical galactic and extragalactic astrophysics
Scientific career
InstitutionsInstitute for Advanced Study, Princeton
University of Oxford
Princeton University
Thesis On the Formation of Galaxies  (1975)
Doctoral advisorDennis Sciama
Doctoral studentsBrian Greene

James Jeffrey Binney, FRS, FInstP (born 12 April 1950) is a British astrophysicist. He is a professor of physics at the University of Oxford and former head of the Sub-Department of Theoretical Physics as well as an Emeritus Fellow of Merton College. Binney is known principally for his work in theoretical galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, though he has made a number of contributions to areas outside of astrophysics as well.

Education and career

Binney studied the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, graduating with a first in 1971. He then moved to the University of Oxford, reading for a DPhil at Christ Church under Dennis Sciama, which he completed in 1975. After holding several post-doctoral positions, including a junior research fellowship at Magdalen College, and a position at Princeton University, Binney returned to Oxford as a university lecturer and fellow and tutor in physics at Merton College in 1981. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton from 1983 to 1987 and again in the fall of 1989.[4] He was subsequently made ad hominem reader in theoretical physics in 1991 and professor of physics in 1996.

Binney has received a number of awards and honours for his work, including the Maxwell Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1986, the Brouwer Award of the American Astronomical Society in 2003, the Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics in 2010,[5] the Eddington Medal in 2013,[6] and the Isaac Newton Medal in 2023. He has been a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1973, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and a fellow of the Institute of Physics, both in 2000. He sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press.[7]


Binney's research interests have included:


Binney has authored over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and several textbooks, including Galactic Dynamics, which has long been considered the standard work of reference in its field.



  1. ^ Vigroux, Laurent. "IAP's Medal Award 2013 to Pr James Binney". Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Isaac Newton Medal and Prize". Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  4. ^ "A Community of Scholars". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  5. ^ "2010 Dirac medal". Institute of Physics. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Winners of the 2013 awards, medals and prizes – full details". Royal Astronomical Society. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  7. ^ "European Advisory Board". Princeton University Press. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2013.