Chris Impey

Chris ImpeyCourtesy The University of Arizona

Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department at the University of Arizona, in charge of academic programs. He has over 170 refereed publications and 60 conference proceedings, and his work has been supported by $20 million in grants from NASA and the NSF. As a professor, he has won eleven teaching awards, and has been heavily involved in curriculum and instructional technology development. Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society. He has also been an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, and the Carnegie Council on Teaching’s Arizona Professor of the Year. He co-chaired the Education and Public Outreach Study Group for the recent Decadal Survey of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2014 he was selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Chris Impey aims to convey the excitement of astronomy in as many ways as possible to a large public audience. He gives 20 public talks a year, to audiences as large as 3500 and as varied as NASA engineers, first-graders, and Buddhist monks. He has written over forty popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology and authored two introductory textbooks. His has published seven popular science books: The Living Cosmos (2007, Random House), How It Ends (2010, Norton), How It Began (2012, Norton), Talking About Life (2010, Cambridge), Dreams of Other Worlds (2013, Princeton), Humble Before the Void (2014, Templeton), and Beyond (2015, Norton). His first novel, Shadow World, was published in 2013. His Teach Astronomy web site gets over 5000 visitors a week, and his YouTube lectures and videos have over half a million views. He is currently teaching two Massive Open Online Classes (MOOCs) to about 40,000 people, most of them living outside the United States.