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Lawrence Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author, as well as being an acclaimed lecturer. He has also appeared regularly on radio and television, as well as in several feature films. He was born in New York City and moved shortly thereafter to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up. He received undergraduate degrees in both Mathematics and Physics at Carleton University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982), then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows (1982-85). He joined the faculty of the departments of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University as assistant professor in 1985, and associate professor in 1988. From 1993-2008 he was Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy at Case Western Reserve University. From 1993-2005 he also served as Chair of the Physics Department there. During this period he built up the department, which was ranked among the top 20 Physics Graduate Research Programs in the country in a 2005 national ranking. Among the major new initiatives he spearheaded were the creation of one of the leading particle astrophysics experimental and theoretical programs in the US, the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics, and the creation of a groundbreaking Masters Program in Physics Entrepreneurship. Among his numerous important scientific contributions was the proposal, in 1995, that most of the energy of the Universe resided in empty space. This prediction was verified in 1999 by two teams of astronomers, and the discovery was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2011. In 2008 he was appointed as Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Physics Department, and Inaugural Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. During the decade (2008-2018) in which he led the program, the Origins Project became internationally recognized for spearheading forefront research across the full spectrum of scholarly activity through is renowned transdisciplinary workshops, and then bringing this exciting information to the public through its public events, bringing the most accomplished scholars, public intellectuals and celebrities in the world on stage at ASU to discuss topics ranging from the origins of the universe, to human origins, to the origins of consciousness and culture. In 2019, he became President of The Origins Project Foundation, an independent non-profit organization that will carry on the mission of inspiring the wonder and excitement of knowledge, inquiry and creativity in new forums for the public. In 2019, he also became Host of The Origins Podcast, an exciting new video podcast focused on dialogues between Prof. Krauss and some of the most interesting people in the world from science, the arts, politics, and journalism. The podcast first aired in May of 2019. He also publishes the Substack site, Critical Mass, which includes essays, as well as links to podcasts and lectures.
During his career Prof. Krauss has held or holds professorships or distinguished visiting appointments at institutions including University of Chicago, Cambridge University, Boston University, University of Zurich, Harvard University, University of Zurich, University of California at Santa Barbara, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, The European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Australian National University, and New College of Humanities.
Prof. Krauss is the author of over 600 publications, as well as numerous popular articles on physics and astronomy. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and writing, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s 1999-2000 Award for the Public Understanding of Science and Technology, the 2001 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, the 2001 Andrew Gemant Award, of the American Institute of Physics, the 2003 Oersted Medal, the highest award of the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is the first physicist to have been awarded these latter awards from all three US physical societies.
Among more recent awards are included the Helen Sawyer Hogg Prize of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Astronomical Society of Canada (2009), The US National Science Board 2012 Public Service Award, Roma Award Urbs Universalis (2013), Academia Film Olomouc award for Outstanding Communication of Science (2014), Gravity Research Foundation First Prize Winner (2014), American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year (2015), Richard Dawkins Award (2016), and the Freedom From Religion’s “Emperor Has No Clothes Award” (2016).
Krauss has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in June 2003 was awarded his first honorary D.Sc degree (among several) from Carleton University in recognition of his scientific contributions, and his efforts at public understanding of science. He has been involved for some time in issues of science and society and has helped spearhead national efforts to educate the public about science, ensure sound public policy, and defend science against attacks at a variety of levels
Prof. Krauss is also an acclaimed teacher and lecturer with vast experience in reaching out to popular audiences and has lectured at hundreds of institutions around the world. He has been a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times and The New Yorker. Prof. Krauss is the author of twelve acclaimed popular books, including, The Fifth Essence: The Search for Dark Matter in the Universe (Basic Books, 1989), which was named Astronomy Book of the Year by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Fear of Physics (Basic Books, 1993), his AIP award winning book, Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth…and Beyond, and the New York Times Bestsellers, The Physics of Star Trek, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing and The Greatest Story Ever Told…So Far. His recent book, The Physics of Climate Change, appeared in February of 2021, and his newest book, The Known Unknowns: Unsolved Mysteries of the Cosmos, was released in May 2023
Krauss is one of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture. For example, besides his radio and television work, Krauss has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, narrating Gustav Holst’s The Planets at the Blossom Music Center in the most highly attended concert at that venue, and was nominated for a Grammy award for his liner notes for a Telarc CD of music from Star Trek. In 2005, he also served as a jury member at the Sundance Film Festival. For all of these reasons and more, Scientific American called him one of the few true ‘scientific public intellectuals”.
In 2013, starred in a full-length feature film documentary called The Unbelievers, which follows Krauss and colleague Richard Dawkins around the world as they discuss science and reason. He also co-starred in Werner Herzog’s films Salt and Fire, and Lo and Behold as well as appearing in The Farthest, a documentary celebrating the men and women who built the Voyager spaceship and in the science fiction film Intersect. He is an executive producer of a new feature film, The Vast Lonesome. He appears regularly in science documentaries on television and appeared monthly on PBS discussing science issues. He is also producing and writing other television and film projects.
In his spare time, when he is not writing, lecturing etc, he enjoys scuba diving, fly-fishing, and mountain biking.