Paul Davies is the professor of natural philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University. After earning a Ph.D. in physics at University College, London, in 1970, he held academic appointments in astronomy, physics, and mathematics at the universities of Cambridge, London, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Adelaide. His research has spanned the fields of cosmology, gravitation, and quantum field theory, with particular emphasis on black holes and the origin of the universe. Dr. Davies is also widely known as an author. He has written more than twenty-five books, both popular and specialist works, including The Physics of Time Asymmetry, Quantum Fields in Curved Space (co-authored with Nicholas Birrell), The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, and, most recently, The Origin of Life, which was published by Penguin in 2003. He also has extensive experience in television and radio, including the presentation of two Australian television series entitled “The Big Questions.” His work in astrobiology was the subject of a BBC television documentary, “The Cradle of Life.” He has won numerous awards for his scientific and media work, including the 1995 Templeton Prize. He received the 2001 Kelvin Medal presented by the UK Institute of Physics and the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society for his contributions to promoting science to the public. The asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) “Pauldavies” in his honor.
Theoretical cosmologist Andrei Linde is the author of theories of the origin of the universe that have revolutionized cosmology. He helped lay the foundation for the concept of inflation—the idea that the universe began not with a hot big bang but with an extraordinarily rapid expansion of space in a vacuum-like state—while working at the Lebedev Physical Institute in his native Russia. A graduate of Moscow State University, Dr. Linde took his Ph.D. in physics at Lebedev in 1975 and became a professor there in 1985. He was the Morris Loeb Lecturer at Harvard in 1987, joined the staff of CERN in 1989, and came to Stanford in 1990. After his initial contribution to inflationary cosmology, Dr. Linde went on to propose other promising versions of this theory, such as “chaotic inflation.” Published in 1986, his theory of a chaotic self-reproducing inflationary universe suggests that our universe is one of many inflationary universes that sprout from an eternal cosmic tree. His current research involves the theory of dark energy and cosmological models based on string theory. He proposed the first model of dark energy based on string theory in the paper published in 2003 with Shamit Kachru, Renata Kallosh, and Sandip Trivedi, which became the first in a series of papers implementing the anthropic principle in string theory. The winner of the Lomonosov Award of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Dr. Linde received the Oskar Klein Medal in physics in 2001 and shared the Dirac Medal awarded by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy on the centenary of Nobel laureate Paul Dirac's birth in 2002. Last year, he shared with Alan Guth the Peter Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize, and earlier this year, he was awarded the Robinson Prize by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of two books on inflationary theory and more than 200 scientific papers.