The Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL / Birkbeck

Prof Steve Miller

Prof Steve Miller

Professor of Planetary Science and Science Communication

Dept of Science & Technology Studies

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 1986

Research summary

Prof. Miller's research in Science and Technology Studies centres on issues concerning the relationship between science and society, and he is active in the development of materials for teaching in this area. He is particularly interested in the European dimension of such activities. 

Other research interests include: Efforts in the public understanding of astronomy; Case studies in the popularisation of the physical sciences; Historical and international development of the "Two Cultures" division.

Prof Miller is the former director of:

ENSCOT - European Network of Science Communication Teachers 

ESConet - European Science Communication Network

The UCL/UK Hub for Responsible Research and Innovation

In Physics and Astronomy, Prof. Miller's research interests cover the atmospheres of giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and exoplanets), the spectra of comets and interstellar chemistry.

Prof Miller is the former director of the UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences, and a founder member of the Europlanet European network of planetary scientists.

Teaching summary

Courses taught until retirement in December 2016:

HPSC 1007; Research Methods in Science and Technology Studies

HPSC 1008: Introduction to Science Communication

HPSC 2016: Global Citizenship in Theory and Practice

HPSC 3003: Communication of Scientific Ideas

HPSC 3010: Popularisation of the Physical Sciences

HPSC GA45: Practical Science Communication

MAPS 2001: Scientific Communication and Computing

Graduate School workshops in Communicating Your Research


Prof. Miller is Emeritus Professor of Science Communication and Planetary Science (retired: December 31, 2016). He was Director of the European Science Communication Workshops (ESConet) between 2009 and 2011, and directed the European Network of Science Communication Teachers (ENSCOT) between 1999 and 2003, projects supported by the European Union Framework programmes. Both projects have produced modules for science communication training. (Contact Prof. Miller –s.miller@ucl.ac.uk - for further details.) He was the UCL principal investigator of the Framework-7 funded project RRI Tools, led by La Caixa Foundation in Spain, producing a toolkit for enabling researchers and innovators to carry out their work responsibly.

Prof. Miller was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Public Communication of Science and Technology network (PCST), and chaired the European Commission’s Expert Group Benchmarking the Promotion of RTD Culture and Public Understanding of Science, which reported in June 2002. He also spent six years as a political journalist.

Additionally, Prof. Miller is a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCL. There he is still active in research in planetary science in the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory, studying the atmospheres of giant planets in our own Solar System and beyond. He was a member of the European Space Agency's Solar System Exploration Working Group from 2010 to 2013, and part of the UK Space Agency's science advisory team. He was a member of the Science and Society Advisory Panel and chaired the Solar System Advisory Panel for PPARC (now STFC).

He is a member of the Europlanet network of European planetary scientists, and chaired the Local Organising Committee for the 2013 European Planetary Science Congress, the largest Europe-only gathering of space and planetary scientists ever convened. He is a member of the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society, for which he chairs the RAS200 outreach and engagement project.