Adam Frank

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Adam Frank
Born (1962-08-01) 1 August 1962 (age 56)
ResidenceUnited States
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Washington
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Rochester

Adam Frank (born 1 August 1962) is an American physicist, astronomer, and writer. His scientific research has focused on computational astrophysics with an emphasis on star formation and late stages of stellar evolution. Currently his work includes studies of exoplanet atmospheres and astrobiology. The latter include studies of the generic response of planets to the evolution of energy-intensive civilizations (exo-civilizations).

His popular writing has focused on issues of science in its cultural context. Topics include: issues of climate and the human future, technology and cultural evolution; the nature of mind and experience; science and religion. He is a co-founder of NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture Blog.,[1] a regular on-air contributor to All Things Considered and an occasional contributor to the New York Times.

Life and career[edit]

Frank was born on August 1, 1962 in Belleville, New Jersey.[citation needed] He attended the University of Colorado for his undergraduate work and received his PhD from the University of Washington. He held post-doctoral positions at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the University of Minnesota. In 1995, Frank was awarded the Hubble Fellowship.[2] In 1996, he joined the faculty of the University of Rochester, where he is currently a professor of astrophysics.

Frank's research focus is astrophysical fluid dynamics. His research group developed the AstroBEAR adaptive mesh refinement code used for simulating magneto fluid dynamics flows in astrophysical contexts.[3] Projects using AstroBEAR include the study of jets from protostars as well the evolution of planetary nebula at the end of a solar-type star's life.

Popular writing[edit]

Frank's first book was The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate, published 2009. It discussed the ongoing relationship between science and religion.

In 2010, Frank co-founded NPR's 13.7 Cosmos and Culture Blog with Marcelo Gleiser.[4] In 2018, Frank and Gleiser's blog moved to ORBITER magazine with a new name, 13.8: Science, Culture, and Meaning.[5] Frank has also written for Discover magazine.[6] His work appeared in 2009 Best Science and Nature Writing and 2009 Best Buddhist Writing.[citation needed]

Frank's second book, published in the fall of 2011, About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang explores the relationship between changing ideas in cosmology and the cultural idea of time.[7]

Frank wrote an article titled "Yes, There Have Been Aliens", based on his astronomical observations, which stated "a trillion civilizations still would have appeared over the course of cosmic history."[8][9]

Frank wrote a college science textbook titled Astronomy At Play in the Cosmos, published September 2016.[10]

Frank's most recent book Light of the Stars. Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth was published 12 June 2018. The book attempts to reframe debates about climate change by showing it to be a generic phenomena which will occur on almost any technological civilization on any planet. Thus it explores what Frank calls the Astrobiology of the Anthropocene.[11]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2009 Best American Science and Nature Writing[12]
  • 1999 American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division Popular Writing Award for a Scientist[13]
  • 1997-2002 NSF CAREER Grant[14]
  • 1995 Hubble Fellow[2]

Selected publications[edit]

  • The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs Religion Debate, University of California Press (January 10, 2009), ISBN 978-0-520-26586-8
  • The End of the Beginning: Cosmology Culture and Time at the Twilight of the Big Bang, (Sept 27, 2010), ISBN 978-0-452-27606-2
  • Light of the Stars. Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth, (June 12, 2018), ISBN 978-0-393-60901-1


  1. ^ "13.7: Cosmos And Culture". Archived from the original on 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  2. ^ a b "Hubble Fellowships: Listing of all Hubble Fellows 1990-2014". Space Telescope Science Institute. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  3. ^ Simulating Magnetohydrodynamical Flow with Constrained Transport and Adaptive Mesh Refinement: Algorithms and Tests of the AstroBEAR Code
  4. ^ "About '13.7: Cosmos And Culture'". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  5. ^ "A New Home for 13.7 . . . Make That 13.8 | ORBITER". ORBITER. 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  6. ^ DISCOVER MAGAZINE 3 Theories That Might Blow Up The Big Bang
  7. ^ Frank, Adam (2011-09-27). About Time. ISBN 9781439169612.
  8. ^ Anderson, Ross (17 June 2016). "Fancy Math Can't Make Aliens Real". Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  9. ^ Frank, Adam (2016-06-10). "Yes, There Have Been Aliens". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  10. ^ Frank, Adam. "Astronomy | W. W. Norton & Company". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  11. ^ "Light of the Stars | W. W. Norton & Company". Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  12. ^ Kolbert, Elizabeth; Folger, Tim, eds. (2009). The best American science and nature writing 2009. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0547002590.
  13. ^ "Previous Winners of the SPD Popular Writing Awards". Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Award Abstract #9702484 CAREER: Understanding Stellar Overflows". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 28 December 2015.

External links[edit]