Robert P. Kirshner is Clowes Professor of Science at Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard College in 1970 and received a Ph.D. in Astronomy at Caltech. He was a postdoc at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, and was on the faculty at the University of Michigan for 9 years. In 1986, he moved to the Harvard Astronomy Department. He served as Chairman of the Department from 1990-1997 and as Director of the Optical and Infrared Division of the Center for Astrophysics from 1997-2003. He was Master of Quincy House, one of Harvard's undergraduate residences from 2001-2007.
Professor Kirshner is an author of over 300 research papers dealing with supernovae and observational cosmology. His work with the "High-Z Supernova Team" on the acceleration of the Universe helped lead to the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics which was awarded jointly to his students Adam Riess and Brian Schmidt and to Saul Perlmutter of Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Kirshner and the High-Z Team shared in the Gruber Prize for Cosmology in 2007, and the Fundamental Physics Breakthrough Prize in 2014. A member of the Amercian Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 and the American Philosophical Society in 2004. He served as President of the American Astronomical Society from 2003-2005. Kirshner was given the Distinguished Alumni Award by Caltech in 2004 and received an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Chicago in 2010. Kirshner won the Dannie Heineman Prize in Astrophysics in 2011, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012, and in 2015 was named Physics Laureate by the Wolf Foundation jointly with B.J. Bjorken of Stanford.
Kirshner is a frequent public lecturer on science. He recently spoke at the Genoa Science Festival and the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin. He is also the teacher of a General Education course for Harvard undergraduates entitled "The Energetic Universe." His popular-level book "The Extravagant Universe: exploding stars, dark energy, and the accelerating cosmos" was published by Princeton University Press. It won the AAP Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Physics and Astronomy. The Extravagant Universe is available in paperback and has been translated into Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Czech.
Tickets: This event is free, and there is not a pre-registration for tickets ; This is a first-come , first serve style event.
Showtime: 7:15, Doors 6:30