Shaiwatna Kupratakul

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Shaiwatna Kupratakul
Born (1940-09-20)20 September 1940
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Nationality Thai

Shaiwatna Kupratakul is a Thai theoretical physicist. He is known by profession and contribution as a scientist, educator, writer, translator, columnist, science communicator, producer and host of radio and television programmes. His lifelong dedication is on science communication and the popularization of science through writing, radio and television media and public speaking. Kupratakul was nominated twice for UNESCO's Kalinga Prize by UNESCO Thailand in 1981 and 2004.[1]


Shaiwatna Kupratakul was born to Sheng Hiang, an herb doctor, and Siew Tiang, at Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, on 20 September 1940. He received his primary education (Prathom 1-Prathom 6 during 1949–1953) at Tesbaln 1 (Boorapa Vidhakorn) School and secondary education (Mathayom 1-Mathayom 8 during 1953–1961) at Ratchasima Vidhyalai School, both in Nakhon Ratchasima. He attended Chulalongkorn University at the Faculty of Science for one and a half-year, during 1961–1962. In 1962, he won a Columbo Plan scholarship, from Australian Government, to study physics in Australia. He graduated with a BSc (Honours) in Physics, from Monash University, in 1966, and a PhD (Physics), also from Monash University, in 1970.

After returning from Australia in 1970, with a PhD in physics from Monash University, Shaiwatna Kupratakul has committed himself continuously as a lecturer, university administrator, educational development project committee or leader, writing of non-fiction and fiction works (especially on science) with the major aim of arming the people with wisdom to fight scientific ignorance and superstition. His most cherished memories were the meetings with Isaac Asimov (at New York in November 1977) and Arthur C. Clarke (at Colombo, Sri Lanka, in February 1980). Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke are two of the three people which Shaiwatna Kupratakul wishes most to meet personally, the third person is Einstein. Shaiwatna Kupratakul did visit Princeton, Einstein's last residence, in 1977. His science writing were inspired by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Jules Verne, H.C. Wells and Juntri Siriboonrod (จันตรี ศิริบุญรอด); the last of which was proclaimed "Father of Thai Science Fiction."

Shaiwatna Kupratakul started his career as a lecturer at Khon Kaen University in 1970, moved to Srinakharinwirot University (Prasarnmit) in 1982. He early-retired from Srinakharinwirot University in 1999 but continues to give special lectures and talks at several universities, schools and for the public, write articles and science fiction (both short science stories and science novels), host radio and television programmes, serve as committee members of several academic and national Councils.

Shaiwatna Kupratakul married Shusri Chulusthira in 1968, having a son (Juckrich) and a daughter (Chollada). He remarried Sansiri Chairat in 1999.


Shaiwatna Kupratakul has been employed in the following:

  • Lecturer at Department of Physics, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, during 1970–1982
  • Lecturer at Department of Physics, Srinakharinwirot University (Prasammit), Bangkok, Thailand, during 1982–1999.
  • Retiree (since 1 October 1999)

Administrative duties[edit]

His administrative duties include:

  • Head of Department of Physics, Khon Kaen University, during 1970–1976 and 1978–1982.
  • Assistant Dean of Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, during 1974–1978.
  • Head of Department of Physics, Srinakharinwirot (Prasammit), during 1983–1985.
  • Assistant Dean of Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwiot University, during 1983–1985.

Professional appointments and activities[edit]

Kupratakul has also participated in the following activities and engagements:

  • Assistant Professor of Physics, during 1974–1981
  • Associate Professor of Physics, since 1981.
  • Executive committee member, Asian Physical Society, (APSO), 1979.
  • Vice-President, Asian Science Communicators Organization, (ASCO), 1980.
  • Member, the Science Society of Thailand, since 1972.
  • Member, the Writers’ Association of Thailand, since 1976.
  • Member, P.E.N. International Thailand Center, since 1976.
  • Chairman, Science Writers’ and Publishers’ Group of Thailand, 1984.
  • Executive board member, National Research Council of Thailand, since 2003.[2]
  • Chairman, Physical Science and Mathematical Branch, the Office of the National Research Council of Thailand, since 2003.[3]
  • committee member, Academic University Council, Rajabhat University Nakhon Ratchasima, During 2005–2008.[4]


Writer, editor, columnist, and translator of science and non-science, fiction and non-fiction articles, essays, short stories, novels and books for young and general readers including textbooks on physics and physical science. Altogether, more than 100 books, written or translated, have been published.

Since 1970, articles, essays, features, columns, short stories and novels by Shaiwatna Kupratakuln (also under pen names of Shaikupt, Tachyon, Watanachai, Sriwat, etc.) have appeared in several newspapers and magazines.

Radio and television[edit]

Shaiwatna Kuppatakuln has been hosting or co-hosting or producing or serving as commentator several radio programmes both in Khon Kaen (during 1970–1982) and in Bangkok (since 1982). The main purpose of most radio programmers are to communicate and popularize science to the general public. Except many short radio programmers (of 2–3 minutes long) which have been prerecorded, most of the radio programmes are live and interacting with the audiences. Examples of the radio programmes banners are: Science and You (วิทยาศาสตร์และท่าน), Life and Universe (ชีวิตกับจักรวาล), Life and Science (ชีวิตกับวิทยาศาสตร์), Colorful Life With Science (สีสันชีวิตกับวิทยาศาสตร์), Scientific Wisdom (ภูมิปัญญากับวิทยาศาสตร์), For the Future (สาระเพื่ออนาคต), etc.

On television, Shaiwatna Kupratakul has also been hosting or co-hosting or producing many television programmes starting at Khon Kaen national television station (Channel 5 Khon Kaen) since about 1970 until 1982 and continued doing so in Bangkok to the present. As in radio programmes, the main purposes of Shaiwatna Kupratakul television activities are on communicating and popularizing science to general public.

Examples of the television programmes hosted by Shaiwatna Kupratakul are: Science And You (วิทยาศาสตร์และท่าน), Keeping Up With World Progress (ทันโลกก้าวหน้า), Science And Life Update (ทันโลก ทันชีวิต), The Path Of The Future (วิถีอนาคต), etc.

Shaiwatna Kupratakul has been a regular guest on radio and television programmes to explain unusual or strange natural or man-made phenomena and to inform the public on major scientific developments.

Research fields[edit]

Shaiwatna Kupatakul major research interests are on the energy band structures of noble metals, the pressure effects on the energy band structures of noble metals and solar energy. His Ph.D. thesis is "The Electron Band Structures Calculation of Gold By The APW Method". His major Ph.D. works were published as "Electron Band Structure of Gold", J Phys. C. (Solid State Physics), 1969, p. 1886−1887, with his mentor and co-author, Prof. G.C. Fletcher; and "Relativistic Electron Band Structure of Gold", S Phys. C. (Solid State Physics), 1970, p. S109−S119.

Research related to published works[edit]

Short science stories written by Shaiwatna Kupatakul (mostly under the pen name of Shaikupt) have been a research topic carried out by Pornsiri Narkwatchara (พรศิริ นาควัชระ) as part of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Thai, Department of Thai, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. The thesis entitled "An Analytic Study of Shaikupt's Science Fiction" (การศึกษาเชิงวิเคราะห์เรื่องสั้นแนววิทยาศาสตร์ของชัยคุปต์) was submitted successfully for the academic year 1999. In the thesis, Pornsiri Narkwatchara based her research on 130 short science stories.

Awards and prizes[edit]

  • Shaiwatna Kupatakul's works on science Communication, translation, science fact and fiction writings have received severed awards and prizes with some examples given as follows:-
  • Outstanding Science Communicator Award for the year 1995 from the Science Society of Thailand Under the Patronage of His Majesty the King.[5]
  • “Surintaraja” Award for the year 2009 from the Translators and Interpreters Association of Thailand (TIAT). An award for outstanding senior translator.[6]
  • The book “Immortal Life” (ชีวิตอมตะ), winner of two consolation prizes for non-fiction book for young readers, National Book Fair (Thailand) and The National Youth Bureau (Thailand), both in 1982.[7][8]
    • The book “Laser” (เลเซอร์) winner of a consolation prize for non-fiction book for young readers, National Book Fair (Thailand), 1986.[9]
    • The book “Amazing Space” (อวกาศมหัศจรรย์), winner of a consolation prize for illustrated book for children, National Book Fair (Thailand), 1997.[10]
    • The book “Project X” (โปรเจกต์เอกซ์), winner of a consolation prize for novel, National Book Fair (Thailand), 2003.[11]

Honours and recognition[edit]

Shaiwatna Kupatakuln has received severed national and international honours and recognition, some of which are as follow:

  • Outstanding alumnus (ศิษย์เก่าดีเด่น) of Ratchasima Vidhayalai School as proclaimed in 1997[12][13]
    • Outstanding alumnus (ศิษย์เก่าดีเด่น) of Tesabaln 1 (Boorapa Vidhayalai) School as proclaimed in 2005.[14]
  • Presenter Of a TV spot promoting Thailand National Science Week Events of the year 2000 broadcast on several television channels during the month of August 2000.


  1. ^ The Thai National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Education. (http://WWW.BIC.MOE.GO.TH)
  2. ^ http://WWW.NRCT.NET
  3. ^ IBID.
  4. ^ http://WWW.NRRU.AC.TH
  5. ^ The Science Society of Thailand Under the Patronage of His Majesty the King. (http://WWW.SCISOC.OR.TH)
  7. ^ National Committee for Book Development, Ministry of Education, Thailand, 1982. (http://WWW.MOE.GO.TH)
  9. ^ National Committee for Book Development, Ministry of Education, Thailand 1986. (http://WWW.MOC.CO.TH)
  10. ^ IBID., 1997.
  11. ^ IBID., 2003.
  12. ^ Ratchasima Vidhayalai School, Nakhonratschsima, Thiland. (http://WWW.RAJSIMA.AC.TH)
  13. ^ http://TH.WIKIPEDIA.ORG. (โรงเรียนราชสีมาวิทยาลัย)
  14. ^ http://WWW.BRK.AC.TH (โรงเรียนเทศบาล 1(บูรพาวิทยากร))