Who is FQXi?

The Scientific Directorate provides the scientific leadership of FQXi, advised and overseen by the Advisory Council. Scientists participate in FQXi's grant programs, and/or by becoming Members. Grant decisions are made by external review panels, and a Donor Advised Fund administers the grants. Legal and financial oversight are provided by the Board of Directors.

FQXi is supported solely by philanthropic donations. Opportunities for you to participate may be found here.


Scientific Directorate

Scientific Director: Max Tegmark, Professor, MIT
A native of Sweden, Tegmark earned his Ph.D. in physics at Berkeley in 1994. He then worked as a research associate at the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik in Munich, as a Hubble Fellow and member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania before joining MIT in 2004. Tegmark's research has focused on cosmology theory and phenomenology, but has also included diverse topics such as interpretations of quantum mechanics, predictions of inflation, and parallel universes.

Associate Scientific Director: Anthony Aguirre, Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Aguirre received his Ph.D. in Astronomy in 2000 from Harvard University. He then spent three years as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (narrowly missing Tegmark) before accepting a Professorship at the physics department of the University of California at Santa Cruz. Aguirre has worked on a wide variety of topics in theoretical cosmology, ranging from intergalactic dust to galaxy formation to gravity physics to the large-scale structure of inflationary universes and the arrow of time.

Back to Top

Advisory Council

John Barrow, Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge University
Barrow's research interests are cosmology, the foundations of physics, gravitational and particle physics. Barrow has written a number of popular books on these topics.

Nick Bostrom, Director, Oxford Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University
Bostrom's research interests are philosophy of science, ethics, transhumanism, and probability theory.

Gregory Chaitin, Researcher, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
Chaitin's research interests include physical and mathematical complexity, algorithmic information theory, metamathematics, and philosophy of science.

David Chalmers, Director, Centre for Consciousness & Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University
Chalmers' research interests include the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and the foundations of physics.

Patricia M. Gruber, President, Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
Previously a psychotherapist in private practice in California, she now devotes herself full time to the Foundation, which she has guided since its inception in 1993, and has been its full-time president since 2000.

Alan Guth, Professor of Physics, MIT
Guth's research interests are cosmology and particle physics, especially inflationary theory.

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, Creator, Producer, and Host, "Closer to Truth"
Kuhn has a doctorate in brain science and the author or editor of more than 25 books. He is recognized as an international investment banker and expert on China. He is chairman and founder of The Kuhn Foundation.

Christopher Liedel, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, National Geographic Society
A business leader with strategic planning expertise, Liedel is responsible for financial administration and reporting, overseeing $700 million in investments, information systems, print manufacturing, distribution, and photographic processing for the National Geographic Society.

Bruce McWilliams, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tessera
McWilliams is a leader in the business sector with more than 20 years of executive and technical management experience in the semiconductor industry. He also holds a doctorate in physics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Martin Rees, Professor of Cosmology & Astrophysics, Cambridge University
Master of Trinity College and President of the Royal Society, Rees' research interests include understanding the large-scale structure of the Universe (for which he was awarded the 2005 Crafoord Prize) and high-energy astrophysics.

Lee Smolin, Researcher, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Smolin's research interests center on quantum gravity and also include cosmology, particle physics, string theory and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Melanie Swan, Principal, MS Futures Group
Swan is a researcher and hedge fund manager based in Silicon Valley. She specializes in finance, research, and entrepreneurship, including founding a technology startup company, GroupPurchase, which aggregated small business buying groups.

Frank Wilczek, Professor of Physics, MIT
Wilczek's research interests include particle physics, cosmology, condensed matter physics and the quantum theory of black holes. His work on asymptotic freedom was awarded the 2004 Nobel prize.

Dieter Zeh, Professor Emeritus of Physics at University of Heidelberg
His research interests include quantum decoherence (which he discovered) and the arrow of time.

Back to Top


FQXi Members are the lifeblood of our organization, consisting of top researchers and outreach specialists in our fields of interest. New members are added in two ways. First, successful FQXi Large Grant PIs and contest winners are given nominations automatically. Second, nominations from the Membership itself are solicited semi-annually. Subject to approval by FQXi, individuals with multiple nominations are added as Members.

    List of FQXi Members

Back to Top

Please enter your e-mail address:

Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.