The world's most prestigious academic post is Cambridge's Lucasian Chair. The current holder of this professorship is string theorist Michael Green, who took over from Hawking in 2009, when Hawking reached the retirement age of $67$. When Isaac Newton held the chair, he used the terms of the founding will to argue that he should be exempt from taking holy orders, then compulsory. King Charles II agreed, and exempted all future holders of the Lucasian Chair from dealings with the church.
Now given Michael Green's birth date of 1946, the professorship will once again become vacant in 2013, only two years away. Despite its remarkable secular origins, the post has never been held by a woman. Sounds nice to me.
6 years ago