Edwin L. Turner

Professor of Astrophysical Sciences
Director, Council for International Teaching & Research
Email Address: 
elt AT astro.princeton.edu
Office Location: 
208 Peyton Hall

Edwin L. Turner is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences and Director of the Council for International Teaching and Research at Princeton University. He also serves as Co-Chair of the NAOJ-Princeton Astrophysics Collaboration Council (N-PACC). After receiving an S. B. in Physics at MIT ('71) and a Ph. D. in Astronomy from Caltech ('75), he spent brief periods at the Institute for Advanced Study and on the astronomy faculty at Harvard University before joining the Princeton faculty in 1978. Since 2008 he has also held an Affiliate Scientist appointment at the University of Tokyo’s Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe. He has carried out extensive astronomical observations at Mt. Palomar Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, NRAO's Very Large Array, Apache Point Observatory, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s (NAOJ’s) Subaru Telescope and with the Hubble Space Telescope. Turner has served on a variety of national professional committees, including nine years each on the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and the Space Telescope Institute Council (which he chaired for 3 of those years). He also served as Director of the Apache Point Observatory 3.5-meter Telescope for nine years and on the Board of Governors of the Astrophysical Research Consortium for an additional 8 years. His sabbatical leaves have taken him to Caltech, Harvard, MIT, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the University of Melbourne and the University of Tokyo.  Working extensively in both theoretical and observational astrophysics, he has published more than 240 research papers with particular concentrations on topics including binary galaxies, groups of galaxies, large scale structure, dark matter, quasar populations, gravitational lensing, the cosmic x-ray background, the cosmological constant, exoplanets, astrobiology and the origin of life, frequently in all of these areas with an emphasis on statistical analyses. His recent teaching activities at Princeton include courses in cosmology, in astrobiology and in media coverage of science, and he has been a member of the University’s Committee for Statistical Studies since 1992. Recently he has been an active participant in the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative and in the organization of YHouse, Inc. project. He is married and has two adult sons.