Lawrence Maxwell Krauss (born May 27, 1954) is foundation professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, a professor in the physics department and director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek. Lawrence is also an outspoken defender of reason and rational thinking and has had various discussions with fellow scientist Richard Dawkins.
Krauss was born in New York City and shortly afterward moved to Toronto, spending his childhood in Canada. He married Katherine Kelley in 1980, and they have one daughter, Lilli. He received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from Carleton University, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982. He became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1985 and associate professor in 1988. He was named the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, professor of astronomy, and was chairman of the physics department at Case Western Reserve University from 1993 to 2005. In 2006, Krauss led the initiative for the no confidence vote against Case Western Reserve University's President Edward Hundert and Provost Anderson, which was approved on March 2, 2006 by the College of Arts and Sciences (Hundert: 131 for / 44 against; Anderson: 97 for / 68 against).
In August 2008 he joined the faculty at Arizona State University as Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Physics, and Director of the University's Origins Initiative. In 2009 he helped inaugurate this initiative with the Origins Symposium in which 80 of the world's leading scientists participated, and 3000 people attended.
He also regularly appears in national media for public outreach in science and has written many editorials for The New York Times. His active opposition to intelligent design gained national prominence as a result of his 2004 appearance before the state school board of Ohio. He currently serves on the advisory boards of the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, an organization dedicated to opposing the religious right, and Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government.
He attended and was a speaker at the Beyond Belief symposium in November 2006 and again in October 2008. He also served on Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign science policy committee. In 2008 he was named co-president of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In 2010 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Federation of American Scientists.
Krauss is one of the few living scientists that Scientific American has referred to as a 'public intellectual', and is the only physicist ever to have been awarded the highest awards of all three major US Physics Societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. Krauss is also a critic of string theory, which he takes on in his 2005 book, Hiding in the Mirror. His newest book, due for release in 2011, is entitled Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science.