David Weintraub is a Professor of Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, where he directs programs in the Communication of Science and Technology and in Scientific Computing. He is the 2015 winner of the Klopsteg Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers, which recognizes the outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Astronomy at Yale in 1980 and his PhD in Geophysics & Space Physics at UCLA in 1989 before he was appointed to the Vanderbilt Astronomy faculty in 1991. In 2011-2012, he served as Chair of the Vanderbilt University Faculty Senate.
Dr. Weintraub is an expert in the study of star and planet formation and is the author of three books for popular audiences, including Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal with It? (2014), which describes what religious leaders and theologians have to say about extraterrestrial life in more than two dozen major religions. He is also co-author of two astronomy books for children and author of over 70 peer-reviewed papers in professional journals. His book Is Pluto a Planet? (2006) was a finalist for the Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books and his book How Old is the Universe? (2010) received an Honorable Mention Award from the Association of American Publishers.
Professor Weintraub has been honored by Vanderbilt University through separate awards for his internationally recognized research, his excellence in teaching, his dedicated advising, his distinguished service in the councils and government of the university, and for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate student-faculty relations.