Greek-American Physicist Joins Elite Korean Academy

KAST President Dr. Myung-Chul Lee, Dr. Kafatos and his wife, Chapman Professor Susan Yang, Ph.D.(Photo: Chapman University).

Distinguished Greek American physicist Menas Kafatos has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology (KAST) — the equivalent of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

The Crete-born professor teaches at Chapman University in California and serves as director of its Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations (CEESMO).

As a member of KAST, he will work with academy members in South Korea to promote science and technology.

According to Chapman University, Professor Kafatos visits South Korea often where he speaks at international conferences and appears on national television programs such as the popular “15 Minutes to Change the World.”

For the past 10 years, Professor Kafatos has undertaken collaborative research with faculty and students from Korea University. Korean researchers also help in research with CEESMO at the Chapman campus, focusing on studying natural hazards such as earthquakes, wildfires, droughts, dust storms and other extreme weather phenomena.

Academic life and work 

Born in Crete on March 25, 1945, Kafatos received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972.

He is the Founding Dean of the Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University, serving as dean in 2009 – 2012.

“I was fascinated by the vastness of space in the night sky and by questions about the universe. I’m fortunate that I was able to have this experience, as I ultimately realized that we came from the stars,” he says.

The Greek-American scientist has published numerous books including The Conscious Universe, The Non-local Universe (with Robert Nadeau, Springer-Verlag and Oxford), Principles of Integrative Science (with Mihai Draganescu, Romanian Academy of Sciences Press).

In 2017, Kafatos saw a book he co-wrote with Dr. Deepak Chopra — “You are the Universe” — make the New York Times Best Sellers list.