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Paul Sutter

Paul M. Sutter

NIAC External Council

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Paul M. Sutter is a theoretical cosmologist, award-winning science communicator, U.S. Cultural Ambassador, and a globally recognized leader in the intersection of art and science. Paul is a research professor at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University and a guest researcher at the Center for Computational Astrophysics with the Flatiron Institute in New York City.

In addition to writing three critically acclaimed books exploring everything from our place in the universe to the ways modern science can improve its relationship with the public, Paul’s work also appears in Scientific American, Ars Technica, Nautilus, Undark, Popular Mechanics, and more.

A knowledgeable and enthusiastic presenter, Paul hosts a variety of science shows on TV and digital media, including How the Universe Works on Science Channel, Space Out on Discovery, and Edge of Knowledge on Ars Technica, as well as numerous appearances on other shows. He also writes and hosts his hit Ask a Spaceman podcast, which has been downloaded over 7 million times.Paul earned his PhD in physics in 2011 as a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow at the University of Illinois. He then spent three years as a research fellow at the Paris Institute for Astrophysics followed by two years at the Trieste Observatory in Italy. Prior to his current appointment, he held a joint position as the chief scientist at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio and as a cosmological researcher at the Ohio State University.

Paul’s areas of research include studying the largest empty regions in the universe, mapping the leftover light from the big bang, and developing new techniques for finding the first stars to appear in the cosmos. He has authored dozens of academic papers and given hundreds of seminars, colloquia, and conference talks at institutions around the world.

You’ll often find Paul in national news providing commentary, especially in his role as the Weather Channel’s Official Space Specialist. He has consulted on everything from major TV shows, such as Star Trek Discovery and Another Life, to films and comic books and stage plays. He was even given the opportunity to act in one project, UFO, giving him an “Erdős–Bacon number” of 5.

In addition to his mainstream science communication, Paul has spent years exploring the intersection of science and art, working with artists, dancers, filmmakers, poets, directors, and musicians. In 2017 he wrote, produced, and narrated Song of the Stars, a dance performance exploring the history of our universe which aired on PBS member stations nationwide. Paul worked with director Tom Dugdale to create Into the Void, a narrative journey into a black hole backed by a full orchestra. With avant-garde composer and musician Keith Patchel, Paul developed MarsBand, an improvisational exploration of the cosmos. Most recently, Paul has collaborated with Syren Modern Dance of New York City on Ticktock, a stage experience exploring the nature of time through a performance weaving narration, music, and movement. Ticktock has been presented on stages worldwide, including in 2022 at the World Expo in Dubai.

Paul is routinely brought in to speak to diverse audiences, including at the Boston Museum of Science, the Houston Museum of Science, the Griffith Observatory, the Frost Science Center, King Abdullah University, and more. He speaks about physics, astronomy, cosmology, space exploration, the intersection of science and art, and the relationship between science and society.

A native of Ohio, Paul now lives in Connecticut with his wife, Kate, and two boys who enjoy drawing silly aliens on his chalkboard.