Krauss named Humanist of the Year

December 4, 2014

Arizona State University professor Lawrence Krauss has been named the 2015 Humanist of the Year by the American Humanists Association.

The Humanist of the Year award was established in 1953 to recognize a person of national or international reputation who, through the application of humanist values, has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the human condition. portrait of ASU professor Lawrence Krauss Download Full Image

Previous honorees include astronomer Carl Sagan; Nobel laureates Steven Weinberg, Murray Gell-Mann, Andrei Sakharov and Linus Pauling; polio vaccine discoverer Jonas Salk; feminist Gloria Steinem; biologists Edward O. Wilson and Stephen Jay Gould; psychologist B.F. Skinner; designer Buckminster Fuller; birth control activist Margaret Sanger; and author Kurt Vonnegut.

“I was shocked when I received the news, and humbled when I read the list of previous awardees, many of whom are intellectual heroes of mine,” said Krauss. “To be listed along with that group in any context is an honor of the highest order.

“As it is, I feel privileged that my activities, which ASU has helped foster and which I am motivated to do both because I enjoy them and because I hope that they might have a positive impact, have now also been so generously recognized by this award,” he added.

Krauss is internationally known for his work in theoretical physics and cosmology, and is a well-known author, science communicator, activist and public intellectual. His research covers science from the beginning of the universe to the end of the universe, and includes the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics.

In addition to being an ASU Foundation Professor, Krauss is the director of the Origins Project at ASU, which explores key questions about our origins, who we are and where we came from, and then holds open forums to encourage public participation.

Krauss is the only physicist to receive major awards from all three U.S. physics societies: the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

In 2012 he was given the Public Service Award from the National Science Board for his efforts in communicating science to general audiences. Last year he was awarded the “Roma Award Urbs Universalis 2013” by the Mayor of Rome.

Krauss has authored more than 300 scientific publications and nine books, including his most recent best-seller, "A Universe from Nothing," which offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions of existence. It was on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction within a week of its release.

Krauss also wrote the international best-seller "The Physics of Star Trek," an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the Star Trek universe, and "Beyond Star Trek," which addressed recent exciting discoveries in physics and astronomy, and takes a look at how the laws of physics relate to notions from popular culture. A book on physicist Richard Feynman, "Quantum Man," was awarded the 2011 Book of the Year by Physics World magazine in the UK.

He has been a frequent commentator and columnist for newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has written regular columns for New Scientist and Scientific American, and appears routinely on radio and television. He was featured with Richard Dawkins in a full-length film documentary, "The Unbelievers," which has been billed as a “rock-n-roll tour film about science and reason.”

Krauss also serves as a co-chair of the board of sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, on the board of directors of the Federation of American Scientists and is one of the founders of ScienceDebate2012.

Krauss will receive a bronze plate bearing an inscription during the American Humanists Association Annual Conference, May 7-10, 2015, in Denver.

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


Sustainability festival features series of events for whole community

December 4, 2014

The eyes, ideas and imagination of the sustainability world will turn to Arizona in February as Arizona State University hosts the second annual Sustainability Solutions Festival at venues across the greater Phoenix area.

Themed “(re)imagine your world,” the Sustainability Solutions Festival is convening a series of events, Feb. 16-21, that are targeted at a wide variety of audiences – from families and the ASU community to film buffs and leaders of industry. Michael Crow delivers the opening address to the 2014 GreenBiz Forum, a part of Download Full Image

“Our charter states that ASU assumes fundamental responsibility for the economic, social and overall health of the community it serves. Hosting the Sustainability Solutions Festival to highlight innovative ideas and technologies is an example of our institutional commitment to our global community,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

Featured partners for the Festival are GreenBiz Group and The Sustainability Consortium, along with additional partners at the city of Phoenix, Arizona Science Center and the Arizona SciTech Festival.

“We are delighted to welcome back to Arizona so many incredible thinkers, courageous business leaders, dedicated practitioners and distinguished scholars who are making substantial global impacts,” said Patricia Reiter, executive director of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. “Last year attendees showed us how to find a better way. This year, we are challenging them to reimagine those ideas and practices throughout the week’s engaging activities, events and meetings.”

Events during the weeklong celebration include:

• The annual GreenBiz Forum, Feb. 17-19, at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, framed by the annual State of Green Business Report. Distinguished speakers include executives and sustainability officers from Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Target, Levi Strauss & Co. and The Sustainability Consortium. The ASU community can also participate by attending the forum’s shadow conference, GreenBiz U, taking place on the Tempe campus.

• Family Day at the Arizona Science Center on Feb. 16, where families and students can ponder their sustainability solutions.

• Documentary screenings, for film buffs and lifelong learners, Feb. 17 and 19.

• The Sustainability Solutions Celebration, at the Desert Botanical Garden on Feb. 18, where sustainability leaders will recognize and congratulate young innovators.

• The Sustival – the festival’s culminating event, Feb. 21 – where participants can gather to listen to local bands, enjoy local food and (re)imagine our shared impact on the world.

"ASU’s Sustainability Solutions Festival has emerged as a can’t-miss annual event, an unparalleled assemblage of ideas, spirits and talent," said Joel Makower, GreenBiz Group chairman and executive editor. “We are proud that the GreenBiz Forum has become a key part of the festival. Our respective events complement each other and bring to all audiences – corporate, academic, community and others – a full picture of what it means to build a sustainable world."

The Sustainability Solutions Festival is a program within the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a unit of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. Supported by a generous investment from the Rob and Melani Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives are designed to utilize the brightest minds in sustainability science and practice to develop scalable solutions to and provide practical education about sustainability challenges throughout the globe.

For more information about the festival, visit

Jason Franz

Assistant Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory