Ray Jayawardhana is Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University. A graduate of Yale and Harvard, he uses many of the world’s largest telescopes to explore planetary origins and diversity.

He is the co-author of more than 130 papers in scientific journals, and his findings have made headlines worldwide. He is also an award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, Muse, Scientific American, and more. His research and writing have led to numerous accolades, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Radcliffe Fellowship, the Rutherford Medal, the Steacie Fellowship, the Steacie Prize, the McLean Award, the Nicholson Medal and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency. His book Strange New Worlds was the basis of “The Planet Hunters” television documentary on the CBC, while Neutrino Hunters won the CSWA Science in Society Book Award. Ray is also a popular speaker and a frequent commentator for the media.

An avid traveler, he has visited more than 55 countries, all seven continents, and the Arctic.