|Philip Cary Plait|
Phil Plait at The Amazing Meeting on January 20, 2007.
September 30, 1964 |
Washington, D. C.
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Fields||Physics, astronomy, science communication|
|Institutions||Sonoma State University|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan, University of Virginia|
|Bad Astronomy blog|
Philip Cary Plait, Ph.D. (born September 30, 1964) (a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer) is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and popular science blogger. He has written two books, Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies. He has also appeared in several science documentaries, including Phil Plait's Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. On August 4, 2008, he became President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, serving in that position until January 1, 2010.
Early life 
Plait grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. He attended the University of Michigan and received his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia in 1994 with a thesis on SN 1987A, which he studied with the Supernova Intensive Study (SINS).
During the 1990s, Plait worked with the COBE satellite and later was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working largely on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. He went on to perform web-based public outreach for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other NASA-funded missions while at Sonoma State University from 2000 to 2007.
His first book, Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" deals with much the same subject matter as his website. His second book, Death from the Skies, describes ways astronomical events could wipe out life on Earth and was released in October 2008.
Plait appeared on two Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episodes. In season 3, he argued against the Apollo moon landing conspiracy theory and in season 7 against astrology. His work has also appeared in the Encyclopædia Britannica Yearbook of Science and the Future and Astronomy magazine. Plait is also a frequent guest on the SETI Institute's weekly science radio show Big Picture Science.
He left the James Randi Educational Foundation as President to focus on a secret TV project, later to be revealed as Phil Plait's Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. The three-part documentary series first aired in the United States August 29, 2010 but was not picked up as a series. He has appeared in numerous science documentaries and programs including How the Universe Works.
Badastronomy.com was a website created in the late 90's dedicated to clearing up public misconceptions about astronomy and space science in movies, the news, print, and on the Internet. Plait also debunked several pseudoscientific theories related to space and astronomy, such as Planet X, Richard Hoagland's theories, and most famously, the moon landing "hoax". Plait's original website is now archived and can still be viewed, although badastronomy.com now redirects to his current Bad Astronomy blog.
In 2005, Plait started the Bad Astronomy blog. In July 2008, it began to be hosted by Discover Magazine. Primarily an astronomy blog, Plait also posts about skepticism, pseudoscience, antiscience with occasional personal and political posts.
Personal life 
- Plait, Philip (2008). Death from the Skies!: These are the Ways the World Will End. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-01997-7.
- Plait, Philip (2002). Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax". John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-40976-6.
Media appearances 
|2012||Curiosity||Episode #2.12 - "Sun Storms"||TV series documentary|
|2012||The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson||Episode #8.184||TV series|
|2010-12||How the Universe Works||"Extreme Planets"
"Planets from Hell"
"Birth of the Earth"
|TV series documentary|
|2011||Captain Disillusion: Fame Curve Collection||Video short|
|2010||Bad Universe||"Death Stars"
|TV series documentary|
|Known Universe||"Stellar Storms"
|TV series documentary|
|2008||Naked Science||"Hubble's Amazing Universe"||TV series documentary|
|2007||Is It Real?||"Life on Mars"||TV series documentary|
|The Zula Patrol||"Larva or Leave Me/Egg Hunt"
"There Goes the Neighborhood"
|2006||Nova||"Monster of the Milky Way"||TV series documentary|
|2005, 2009||Penn & Teller: Bullshit!||"Conspiracy Theories"
- Randi's big shoes to Phil from Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
- James Randi Educational Foundation Names New President from randi.org
- Big Announcement Part 1: My next book! from BadAstronomy.com
- My Sooper Sekrit Project: REVEALED!, Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
- Bad Universe Preview on Discovery News
- Best Science Blog from the Blog award
- McNichol, Tom. "25 Best Blogs 2009". Time magazine. 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- Big news: Bad Astronomy is moving to Slate magazine
- Dr. Phil Plait, aka "The Bad Astronomer" PR Kit: Biography. Bad Astronomy. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, and (165347) Philplait from Blue Collar Scientist
- JPL Small-Body Database Browser from 165347 Philplait from NASA
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Phil Plait|
- Bad Astronomy Blog
- Bad Astronomy Archived Website
- Phil Plait on Twitter
- Phil Plait at the Internet Movie Database