Chair

Paul C.W. Davies, a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist, is Regents’ Professor and founding director of BEYOND: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University (ASU). He serves as co-director of ASU’s cosmology initiative and was principal investigator in its Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology for five years. He is also visiting professor of bioengineering at Imperial College London. For three decades, he has been a leading communicator on science through books and broadcasts for general audiences. Educated at University College London, where he achieved first-class honors in physics and went on to earn a Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1970, Dr. Davies held academic appointments in astronomy, physics, and mathematics at the universities of Cambridge, London (King’s College), Newcastle, and Adelaide. He was then professor of natural philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University for five years before joining the ASU faculty in 2006. His research has spanned the fields of cosmology, gravitation, quantum field theory, and astrobiology, with particular emphasis on black holes, the origin of the universe, and the origin of life, on which he has published several hundred papers in scientific journals. For the past decade, he has chaired the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Post-Detection Science and Technology Taskgroup of the International Academy of Astronautics, which is dedicated to reflecting on the societal consequences of the discovery of evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence. He received the 1995 Templeton Prize, the 2001 Kelvin Medal of the UK Institute of Physics, the 2002 Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society, the Robinson Cosmology Prize, and the Bicentenary Medal of Chile. He has honorary doctorates from Macquarie University and Chapman University and is a fellow of University College London. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2007 Queen’s birthday honours list. The asteroid 1992 OG was officially named (6870) Pauldavies in recognition of his work on cosmic impacts. Dr. Davies is the author of twenty-nine books. A number of them have been highly influential in the scientific community, especially The Physics of Time Asymmetry (1974) and Quantum Fields in Curved Space (1982). His popular science books include The Mind of God (1992), About Time (1995), How to Build a Time Machine (2002), The Goldilocks Enigma: Why the Universe is Just Right for Life (2006), and, most recently, The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence, which was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA) and Penguin Books (UK) in 2010 to critical acclaim for its deep questioning of the assumptions that aliens would be like us and that life must always evolve on planets that can support it. He has also edited ten volumes, including (with Philip Clayton) The Re-Emergence of Emergence (2006), (with Niels Gregersen) Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics (2010 and republished as a CUP Canto Classic in 2014), (with Charles Lineweaver and Michael Ruse) Complexity and the Arrow of Time (2013), and (with Sara Walker and George Ellis) From Matter to Life: Information and Causality, which was published in February by Cambridge University Press. Dr. Davies 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.