Curriculum Vitae
                                  Robert A.J. Matthews
                           
MA(Oxon) CPhys MInstP FRAS

                                           Date of Birth:  23 September 1959  Age: 47
                                                  Email: rajm(
at_sign)physics.org



 Professional posts, qualifications and memberships

  • Visiting Reader, Aston University Dept of Information Engineering 2002-date
  • Visiting Fellow, Aston University Dept of Information Engineering 1993-2002
  • Fellowship, Royal Statistical Society, 1997
  • Chartered Physicist, 1996
  • Membership, Institute of Physics, 1996
  • MA(Oxon) 1984
  • BA (Hons) Physics, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, 1981
  • Sidgwick Essay Prize, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, 1981
  • Fellowship, Royal Astronomical Society, 1980



 Other distinctions

  • Member, Ethics Working Party of EU Biopattern initiative 2005-date
  • Science consultant, Department of Education/Arla National Schools Project, 2001
  • Lecturer, Royal Institution, February 1998
  • C Oswald George Best Paper Prize, Royal Statistical Society, 1997
  • Membership of Royal Statistical Society Media Working Party, 1997

    Science and Media

  • Science columnist Financial Times, BBC Focus,  Daily Express,
  • Science consultant, BBC Focus
  • Science Correspondent, The Sunday Telegraph, 1990 - 2005
  • Technology Correspondent, The Times, 1987 - 1989
  • Presenter, Counterblast BBC2 April 1998
  • Presenter, Open University programme on neural computing, 1997
  • Cover feature Scientific American April 1997
  • Appearances as academic commentator on Channel Four News, Tomorrow's World, BBC Radio 4
    Today, World Service, and many TV and radio programmes in the UK and world-wide.

 Books and contributed chapters



  • Facts versus Factions: The use and abuse of subjectivity in scientific research in Rethinking Risk and
    the Precautionary Principle (Ed: Morris, J.) (Oxford : Butterworth) 247-282 (2000)

  • Using neural networks to distinguish literary styles Matthews, R.A.J., Merriam, T.V.N. Handbook of Neural
    Computation (Ed. Beale, R. et al.) Oxford University Press

  • Using neural networks to cast light on literary mysteries Proceedings of Expert Systems '94, 14th Annual
    Conference of British Computer Society Specialist Group on Expert Systems, Cambridge, UK December
    1994. 2 237-247 (Ed. Milne, R; Montgomery, A). SGES Publications Cambridge.

  • Unravelling the Mind of God: Mysteries at the Frontiers of Science (London: Virgin 1992)


  Refereed publications

     Last updated: 27 December 2005

    1.    2006: What are the implications of optimism bias in clinical research? Chalmers, I. & Matthews, R.A.J.
    Lancet 367(9509) 449-450

    2.    2005: Why people believe weird things Matthews, R.A.J. Significance 2(4) 182-184

    3.    2004: Inference with legal evidence: common sense is necessary but not sufficient Matthews, R.A.J.
    Med Sci Law 44(3) 189-192

    4.    2001: Testing Murphy's Law: urban myths as a source of school science projects Matthews, R.A.J.
    School Science Review 83 23-28

    5.    2001: Methods for assessing the credibility of clinical trial outcomes Drug Inf Journal 35 (4)          
    1469-1478

    6.    2001: Why should clinicians care about Bayesian methods ? J Stat Planning & Inference 94 43-58

    7.   2000: A quintet of queueing quirks Mathematics Today 36 (2) April 38-40

    8.   2000: Storks deliver babies (p < 0.008) Teaching Statistics 22 (2) 36-38

    9.   1999: The Science of Murphy's Law Proc. Roy. Inst. Lond. 70 75-95

    10. 1999: Significance levels for the assessment of anomalous phenomena J. Sci. Exp 13 (1) 1-7

    11. 1999: Bayesian statistical methods: what, why--and when. J Altern Complement Med 1998 4(4) 361-3

    12. 1998: Dirac's Coincidences 60 years on Astron. & Geophys 39 (6) 19-20

    13. 1998: Facts versus Factions: The use and abuse of subjectivity in scientific research, in Rethinking
    Risk and the Precautionary Principle (Ed: Morris, J.) (Oxford : Butterworth) 247-282 (2000)

    14. 1997: Coincidences: the truth is out there (with Fiona Stones) Teaching Statistics 20 17-19

    15. 1997: Decision-theoretic limits on earthquake prediction Geophys. J. Int. 131 526-529

    16. 1997: The Cassandra Criterion Mathematics Today 347-10

    17. 1997: Murphy's Law of Maps Teaching Statistics 19 34-35

    18. 1997: Knotted rope: a topological example of Murphy's Law Mathematics Today June 33 82-84

    19. 1997: The Science of Murphy's Law Scientific American April 1997 72-75

    20. 1997: Shock-horror statistics, Matthews, R.A.J. Teaching Statistics ASLU Supplement 9-11

    21. 1996: Why are weather forecasts still under a cloud ? Matthews, R.A.J. Mathematics Today Nov-Dec
    1996  32 168-170

    22. 1996: Base-rate errors and rain forecasts Matthews, R.A.J. Nature 382 766

    23. 1996: Odd Socks: a combinatoric example of Murphy's Law , Matthews, R.A.J., Mathematics Today
        March-April 39-41

    24. 1996: Using neural networks to distinguish literary styles Matthews, R.A.J., Merriam, T.V.N. Handbook
    of  Neural Computation (Ed. Beale, R. et al.) Oxford University Press

    25. 1995: Shakespeare v. Fletcher: a stylometric analysis by radial basis functions Lowe, D., Matthews, R.
    A.J.  Computers and the Humanities 29 449-461

    26. 1995: Tumbling toast, Murphy's Law and the Fundamental Constants Matthews, R.A.J., European
    Journal of Physics 16 172-176

    27. 1995: Why are coincidences so impressive ? Matthews, R.A.J., Blackmore, S.J., Perceptual and
    Motor Skills  80 1121-1122

    28. 1995: Pi in the sky Matthews, R.A.J., Nature 374 681-682

    29. 1995: The Interrogator's Fallacy Matthews, R.A.J., Bulletin of the Institute of Mathematics and its
    Applications 31 3-5

    30. 1994: The Close Approach of Stars in the Solar Neighbourhood Matthews, R.A.J., Quarterly Journal
    of the   Royal Astronomical Society 35 1 - 9

    31. 1994: Using neural networks to cast light on literary mysteries Proceedings of Expert Systems '94,
    14th Annual Conference of British Computer Society Specialist Group on Expert Systems, Cambridge, UK
    December 1994. 2 237-247 (Ed. Milne, R; Montgomery, A). SGES Publications Cambridge.

    32. 1994: Neural computation in stylometry II: an application to the works of Shakespeare and Marlowe,
         Merriam, T.V.N. & Matthews, R.A.J., Literary and Linguistic Computing 9 1-6

    33. 1993: Neural computation in stylometry I: an application to the works of Shakespeare and Fletcher.
        Matthews, R.A.J., & Merriam, T.V.N. Literary and Linguistic Computing 8 203-209

    34. 1993: Is Proxima really bound ? Matthews, R.A.J., & Gilmore, G.F. Monthly Notices of the Royal
        Astronomical Society 261 L5-7

    35. 1993: The Law of Credulity Matthews, R.A.J. Mathematics Gazette 77 327-328

    36. 1993: The use of genetic algorithms in cryptanalysis Matthews, R.A.J. Cryptologia 17 187-201

    37. 1993: Realistic Least Squares Analysis, Matthews, R.A.J. & Campbell, J. School Science Review 74
    93-94

    38. 1992: The darkening of Iapetus and the origin of Hyperion Matthews, R.A.J Quarterly Journal of the
    Royal  Astronomical Society 33 253-258

    39. 1992: Maximally Periodic Reciprocals Matthews, R.A.J., Bulletin of the Institute of and its Applications
    28 147-148

    40. 1991: Supercomputer investigations of a chaotic encryption algorithm Wheeler, D.D & Matthews, R.A.
    J.,  Cryptologia 15 140-150

    41. 1990: On the use of seismometers to detect the impact of meteorites Matthews, R.A.J Quarterly
    Journal of  the Royal Astronomical Society 31 181-189

    42. 1989: On the derivation of a chaotic encryption algorithm Matthews, R.A.J. Cryptologia 13 29-42

    43. 1988: An empirical method for finding the keylength of periodic ciphers Cryptologia 12 220-224