Ray Jayawardhana

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science

Popular writer on the origin and diversity of planetary systems and the formation of stars and brown dwarfs.

"Where do we fit in? How does our solar system stack up against others? It’s a question broader than science, and yet almost within our reach scientifically. The times we live in just happen to be the time in which I can go out and get some partial answers. The frontier is open and you can go out and play."

Sri Lanka


Family Members

    Impatient and very good communicator.

    Favorite Music
    Afro-Latin music such as “Radio Nomad”.

    Other Interests
    Travel, hiking, reading non-fiction and biographies, learning African drumming.

    Associate Professor

    University of Toronto


    • BS (astronomy and physics) Yale University, 1994
    • PhD (astronomy) Harvard University, 2000

    • Early Researcher Award, Province of Ontario, 2006
    • Vainu Bappu Gold Medal, Astronomical Society of India, 2006
    • American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for a Scientist, 2003
    • Dean’s Lecturer, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2005
    • Distinction in Teaching Award (four times), Harvard University, 1995-1997


    Cyril Ponnamperuma, a leader in the study of the chemical evolution of life and Sri Lanka’s most renowned scientist. Ponnamperuma was the scientific advisor to the President of Sri Lanka as well as the first director of the Arthur C. Clarke Centre for Moden Technologies in Sri Lanka. “I met him in grade 7, when I was about 13 or 14 years old, attending science meetings. Usually I went with my father, but one evening my father couldn’t go, so I went by myself. When I got there, he noticed I was alone and introduced himself. He made a big impression, as a professional Sri Lankan scientist, and later I did a one-month fellowship in his lab."

    Last Updated
    June 16, 2011


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