Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University. He received a PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993). Loeb has written 8 books, including most recently, Extraterrestrial (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), and about 800 papers (with an h-index of 113) on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe. He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy (2011-2020), Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative (2016-present) and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics . He serves as Chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-present) and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. Loeb is a former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House and a member of the Advisory Board for “Einstein: Visualize the Impossible” of the Hebrew University. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present) and serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space and in 2020 Loeb was selected among the 14 most inspiring Israelis of the last decade.
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