Ray Bishop received his physics training on both sides of the Atlantic. After gaining a First Class BA Honours Degree in physics in 1966 from the University of Oxford, where he held an Open Scholarship at The Queen’s College, he went to USA with both a NATO Scholarship and a Fulbright Fellowship. After receiving his PhD in theoretical physics in 1971 from Stanford University he returned to the UK for a further five years, during which time he held joint positions in the Department of Physics at the University of Manchester and the Theory Division at Daresbury Laboratory. He then moved back to USA to take up joint positions in the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley and the Nuclear Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. For the past 25 years he has been at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) where he has occupied the Chair in Theoretical Physics since 1988, and during which time he has served as Head of both the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Physics. He has also held Visiting Professorships at more than ten universities in Europe and USA.
Ray has served on a number of committees of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the main UK funding agency for physics research, including its first ever Physics Programme Evaluation Panel. He serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committees for a number of leading research institutes throughout Europe, and has served on the scientific organizing committees for more than 20 international conferences. He has been a past Chair of the International Selection Committee for the Eugene Feenberg Memorial Prize in Many-Body Physics, and served an unprecedented three terms of office from 1991-99 as Chair of the International Advisory Committee for the series of international conferences on Recent Progress in Many-Body Theories. He is Chair of the Editorial Board for Advances in Quantum Many-Body Theory, and serves as a member of several other editorial boards. He has been active in ventures promoting scientific interchanges between the UK and USA, serving recently, for example, as a member of the Selection Committee for the joint Royal Society-Fulbright Postdoctoral Science Fellowships.
Ray’s main field of research has been microscopic quantum many-body theory and its applications to systems in nuclear physics, subnuclear physics and quantum field theory, condensed matter physics, quantum fluids and ultra-dense matter, statistical physics, and quantum information theory. He has authored about 190 refereed publications in these fields. Since 1980 he has given about 175 talks on his research, about 85 of which have been invited seminars or colloquia at universities or research institutes in some 20 countries, and about 90 of which have been papers at international conferences (of which over 75 were by invitation). Over the years he has had many productive collaborations with colleagues in such countries as Spain, Germany, Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia (as it was then), and USA. Before the fall of the Iron Curtain he was particularly active in fostering contacts and exchange visits with physicists from countries in the old Eastern Europe. More recently he was instrumental in opening up physics contacts with Iran, where he played a pivotal role in organizing the attendance of western physicists at the Spring College on Many-Body Techniques held in Isfahan in 1991. This was probably the first international science meeting held in Iran since the overthrow of the Shah. Ray has also had many contacts over many years with physicists from India and, more particularly, from Latin America from where many of his contacts have emanated from his long-standing involvement with the series of International Workshops on Condensed Matter Theories that had their inception in South America.