2021 Carl Sagan Medal winner for excellence in public communication
Adam Frank received his PhD in physics (1992) from the University of Washington and held postdoctoral and visiting scientist positions at Leiden University and the University of Minnesota.
Adam joined the University of Rochester in 1996. Serving as the Helen F. & Fred H. Gowen Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Adam studies star formation and evolution, as well as develops tools for simulating the cosmos. Through his research, Adam has written numerous academic papers and books, as well as shared his knowledge in a variety of media appearances.
Learn more about Adam Frank’s academic career on his faculty departmental profile page.
Adam Frank is a frequent on-air commentator for live interviews and segments on outlets such as CNN and NPR. Adam also regularly contributes to written publications, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Scientific American.
Members of the media can request an interview with Adam Frank
Selection of recent media appearances
NASA’s DART mission to crash into asteroid
CNN, September 27, 2022
Artemis I second launch attempt
CNN, September 3, 2022
Moon mission, Jupiter images, and sounds of a black hole
CNN, August 24, 2022
Is Earth Smart?
The Atlantic, Feb. 19, 2022
Guest Essay: I’m a Physicist Who Searches for Aliens. UFOs Don’t Impress Me.
New York Times, June 30, 2021
The Impossible Cool of Cowboy Bebop
Big Think, May 26, 2021
‘A Marvelous Life’ Holds Stan Lee High as the Man Who Made Superheroes Matter
NPR, Nov. 6, 2019
Op-Ed: Reframing Climate Change as a Story of Human Evolutionary Success
Washington Post, Oct. 15, 2019
Was There a Civilization on Earth Before Humans?
The Atlantic, April 13, 2018
Books and papers
Adam Frank is a popular author—writing books, academic papers, and as part of many media and news reports.
Adam has authored four popular books arguing for the beauty of science and against science denial. His most recent book is Light of the Stars (W.W. Norton, 2018), which NPR deemed “a valuable perspective on the most important problem of our time.” In it, he argues that human civilization can survive climate change by learning from the experiences of extraterrestrial civilizations.
Triggering a Climate Change Dominated “Anthropocene”: Is It Common among Exocivilizations?
Contact Inequality: First Contact Will Likely Be with an Older Civilization
The Fermi Paradox and the Aurora Effect: Exo-Civilization Settlement, Expansion, and Steady States
The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it be Possible to Detect an Industrial Civilization in the Geological Record?
Bipolar Planetary Nebulae from Outflow Collimation by Common Envelope Evolution
Effects of Radiation Pressure on the Evaporative Wind of HD 209458b
Accretion in Common Envelope Evolution
Adam Frank is no stranger to the media—he is frequently interviewed for national print, television, and radio pieces, along with appearing as a live guest on network news shows and segments.
If you’d like to talk to Adam for a quick comment or something more in-depth, please contact Peter Iglinski, University of Rochester Communications Officer and Media Relations Specialist.
Phone: (585) 764-7002