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Astrophysicist Michael Turner Joins Kavli Foundation as Senior Strategic Advisor

Press Release From: Kavli Foundation
Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Kavli Foundation has announced the appointment of Dr. Michael S. Turner as Senior Strategic Advisor. He will assume his new role on August 1, 2019.

A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Turner will return to Southern California to join the Foundation following his upcoming retirement from the University of Chicago, after nearly 40 years as a professor of physics, astronomy, and astrophysics. Additionally, he served as Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics from 2010 to 2019. 

“Michael is a titan in the field of astrophysics. We are fortunate to have his knowledge, experience and wisdom available to us now at The Kavli Foundation,” said Robert Conn, President and CEO of The Kavli Foundation. “He will be especially helpful as we look towards the future and continue to evolve the Foundation’s science strategy. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Dr. Turner joins the Science Programs team, lending his expertise to the team’s flagship programs in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics. These programs include the 20 Kavli Institutes around the world, the Kavli science meetings program, and the Foundation’s partnerships with national science agencies, scientific societies and other philanthropies. 

“Dr. Turner will be an invaluable addition to our team,” said Kevin Moses, Vice President of Science Programs at The Kavli Foundation. “We look forward to working with him to continue our tradition of highly impactful science philanthropy.”

A world-renowned astrophysicist, Dr. Turner helped establish the interdisciplinary field that combines cosmology and elementary particle physics to understand the origin and evolution of the universe. His research focuses on the earliest moments of creation, and he has made contributions to inflationary cosmology, particle dark matter and structure formation, the theory of big bang nucleosynthesis, and the nature of dark energy -- a term he coined.

“My association with the Kavli Foundation began with a dinner hosted by Fred Kavli on March 20, 2003. Since then, the relationship has deepened and has enriched my scientific life, as a member and Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, and as a member of the larger Kavli family,” said Dr. Turner. “I am excited that my new position with the Foundation will give me the opportunity to help further advance Fred’s grand vision.”

Dr. Turner has also held positions at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Aspen Center for Physics. He earned his B.S. in physics from Caltech in 1971, followed by an M.S. (‘73) and Ph.D. (‘78) in physics from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1997 and the American Philosophical Society in 2017.

The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work. The Foundation’s mission is implemented through an international program of research institutes, symposia, and professorships in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics, as well as prizes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

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